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  Mercury - Gemini - Apollo
  Apollo 11: First photo taken after touchdown

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Author Topic:   Apollo 11: First photo taken after touchdown
LM-12
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From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 08-25-2014 12:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What was the first photo taken on the lunar surface after the Apollo 11 lunar module touched down? The photo was taken from the LM window.

Was it frame 5449, 5737 or 5847?

Bob Shaw
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From: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Registered: Nov 2013

posted 08-26-2014 09:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob Shaw   Click Here to Email Bob Shaw     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a panorama created from two post-touchdown views from the Apollo 11 LM.

LM-12
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From: Ontario, Canada
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posted 08-26-2014 11:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It looks to me like frames 5449 and 5847 were used to create that panorama:
  • different magazines (37 and 40)
  • different cameras (IVA and EVA)
  • different lenses (80mm and 60mm)
Also notice that there are Reseau crosses on the right side only. There are no Reseau crosses on photos taken with the spare (IVA) Hasselblad camera that stayed in the LM.

Lou Chinal
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From: Staten Island, NY
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posted 08-26-2014 11:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a very good question. You would think that the first photo taken from the moon would have been "pushed" more on the public as just that?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-26-2014 11:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If digital photos existed back then, and if they were downlinking the photos back to Earth in real time, then the first photograph would have probably garnished more attention.

But just like the first photos from the Mars rovers, they were only singled out as spectacular until the higher resolution, more scenic shots started to be received on Earth.

As all of the Apollo 11 photos arrived on Earth at the same time, the first photo was probably seen as far less interesting than those showing the astronauts.

LM-12
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From: Ontario, Canada
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posted 08-26-2014 12:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It looks like the CDR took the three photos in the first post.

Bob Shaw
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From: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
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posted 08-26-2014 12:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob Shaw   Click Here to Email Bob Shaw     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The panorama was indeed constructed from the two images noted above - I simply grabbed the source images from the top of this thread and merged them.

stsmithva
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From: Fairfax, VA, USA
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posted 08-26-2014 06:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was smart of them to take a photo immediately upon arrival like that, so they could remember where they parked.

LM-12
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From: Ontario, Canada
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posted 08-26-2014 09:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is the window photography plan from the surface checklist. The black and white film is mentioned first, so maybe frame 5737 was the first photo.

LM-12
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From: Ontario, Canada
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posted 08-27-2014 11:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The first photos taken after touchdown would have the longest shadows. Later photos would have slightly shorter shadows. Is it possible that such subtle changes in shadow length could be detected in the three photographs being discussed? Could the first photo taken after touchdown be determined by shadow length?

Headshot
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posted 08-27-2014 07:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's possible, but may be very difficult. The sun, as seen from the lunar surface, moves at about a degree per 1.82 hours, a lunar day lasts 655.68 hours. If there were a significant time interval between the first picture and subsequent pictures, there may be a difference in shadow lengths. But if they were taken within a few minutes of each other, the shadow length differences may not be measurable.

As info, the time interval from lunar landing to Armstrong's boot on the ground was about 6.6 hours, but probably a significant portion was taken up with EVA prep. So the images were probably taken sometime during the first four hours after landing.

Lou Chinal
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posted 08-28-2014 10:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Steve, that was a good one. But seriously did Neil or Buzz take a good panorama after the EVA?

LM-12
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From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 08-28-2014 01:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
AS11-37-5449 is described as the "first picture taken by a person on another world" in this panoramic photo of the Apollo 11 landing site from the Astronomy Picture of the Day website.

Rather noteworthy, I would say. What is the NASA description for AS11-37-5449? Does it mention that it is the first?

The APOD pan also contains frames from different magazines. Is there a high-res panoramic photo of Magazine 37 frames 5449 to 5453?

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