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  Earth photos taken on the lunar surface

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Author Topic:   Earth photos taken on the lunar surface
LM-12
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Posts: 1849
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 08-18-2014 09:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apollo 11 frame 5924 and Apollo 17 frame 20463 are two Earth photos taken during EVA activities. You can tell by looking at the Earth terminator that the two landing sites are at different latitudes.

I do not see the Reseau numbers on some of the Earth photos that Gene Cernan took. Perhaps it was an awkward angle, so I suspect that Cernan may have held his camera upside down or sideways to take those shots, including:
  • frames 20957 to 20961 at Station 2
  • frames 20465 and 20466 at the flag
  • frame 20471 at the rover

Headshot
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From: Streamwood, IL USA
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posted 08-19-2014 06:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe that the latitude of a lunar landing site can be roughly determined by the altitude of the Earth above the lunar horizon, e.g. the Earth would be on the horizon at the Moon's poles and be almost overhead when viewed from the lunar equator.

I am not certain that the Earth's terminator has any bearing on the latitude of a lunar landing site, although it might be used to determine the difference in longitude between two different landing site.

Someone help us out with this.

schnappsicle
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From: Houston, TX, USA
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posted 08-19-2014 07:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for schnappsicle   Click Here to Email schnappsicle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You are correct on both counts. The earth goes through phases just like the moon does when viewed from earth, but unlike the moon, the earth stays roughly in the same spot in lunar sky at all times.

LM-12
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From: Ontario, Canada
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posted 08-19-2014 08:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Using Apollo 17 frame 20961 as an example:

It would seem to me that (hypothetically) if someone was standing on the lunar equator when Cernan took that photo, they would see a horizontal Earth terminator. And someone standing on the lunar north or south pole would see a vertical Earth terminator.

Is that correct?

One Big Monkey
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From: West Yorkshire, UK
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posted 08-19-2014 09:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for One Big Monkey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This superb analysis takes the idea a step further!

Headshot
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posted 08-19-2014 09:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes LM-12, your reasoning is correct also. The angle of the Earth's terminator would vary by latitude as well.

It is best to measure the angle of the terminator during half-Earth, when the terminator is a straight line. Despite what that excellent video shows, when the Earth is gibbous there is some subjectivity to determining the terminator angle.

Glint
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posted 08-19-2014 01:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The angle of the terminator primarily varies by season. The seasons are caused by the earth's axial tilt.

LM-12
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posted 08-19-2014 02:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Frame 9189 is a LM and Earth view from the lunar surface on Apollo 14.

None of the Apollo 15 and Apollo 16 Hasselblad photos taken on the lunar surface seem to show the Earth. That is a surprise. Can you find any?

LM-12
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posted 08-21-2014 12:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I take it from the "superb" Earthrise video that One Big Monkey posted above that (1) the angle of the Earth's axis relative to the lunar horizon changes with latitude and can be used to determine lunar latitude, and (2) the elevation of the Earth above the lunar horizon changes with longitude and can be used to determine lunar longitude.

So, if one can do all the calculations, the (approximate) location where an Earth photo like 20961 was taken can be determined from the photo alone? Amazing.

LM-12
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posted 09-01-2014 08:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The view of Earth in the Apollo 11 emblem is wrong for where they landed. And when they landed also, I believe.

moorouge
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posted 09-01-2014 10:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LM-12:
The view of Earth in the Apollo 11 emblem is wrong for where they landed. And when they landed also, I believe.

It also needs to be rotated 90 degrees. I believe Mike Collins has owned up to his astronomical error.

LM-12
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posted 09-01-2014 05:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"... wrong for where they landed" is the 90 degree error.

An Earth view like frame 5924 should be on the emblem: upper half in sunlight with north pole at right. When Apollo 11 landed at 4:17:39 p.m. EDT, the eastern part of North America should have been visible in the sunlit half.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-01-2014 06:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moorouge:
I believe Mike Collins has owned up to his astronomical error.
From "Carrying the Fire" by Collins:
I added a small earth in the background and drew the sunshine coming from the wrong direction...

LM-12
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posted 09-01-2014 06:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Where would you have to be on the moon and when would you have to be on the moon to see the Earth view in the Apollo 11 patch?

My guess is in the northwest quadrant of the moon near the lunar north pole, on a waning crescent moon.

LM-12
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posted 09-03-2014 10:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The sunlight direction in the Apollo 14 emblem also looks wrong. In the Apollo 8 emblem, the moon is sunlit from the right as seen from the Earth. That seems right for when Apollo 8 flew.

An interesting change in the Apollo 8 emblem would be to switch the positions of the Earth and the moon, and have the moon in the foreground. Then the names of the three crewmembers would be in orbit at the moon.

LM-12
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posted 10-24-2014 12:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Was it ever determined who took Apollo 11 frames 5923 and 5924?

In frame 5924, there is a bright object seen at right center. Is that a star or perhaps a planet, or is it just a flaw on the film?

LM-12
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From: Ontario, Canada
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posted 03-12-2015 02:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the Apollo 12 mission transcripts at the end of EVA-2, when Al Bean was back inside the LM and Pete Conrad was still on the lunar surface:
CDR-EVA: Did you ever get the picture of the LM and Earth?

LMP-LM: No.

CDR-EVA: Oh, that's a shame.

LMP-LM: I know it.

CDR-EVA: Hi Earth; I can see us. It's up over the LM now. It's the first time I've had a chance to look. You're about a quarter Earth.

LM-12
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posted 04-30-2016 12:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I added a small earth in the background and drew the sunshine coming from the wrong direction...
Has there ever been an illustration showing a "corrected" version of the Apollo 11 emblem? That is, a design that replaces the wrong view of Earth in the original emblem with a correct view of Earth as seen in photo AS11-44-6551 for example.

Jonnyed
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posted 04-30-2016 02:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jonnyed   Click Here to Email Jonnyed     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ha! More proof from these photos that they could not have been shot in a Hollywood studio, and that no moon-landing conspiracy exists.

The precision of the Earth angle, the Earth phase, and planet location in the sky is likely too complex for Hollywood engineers to get it right in every shot -- particularly evidenced when even a very well-trained astronaut [Mike Collins] screwed it up.

All times are CT (US)

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