APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by APOD Robot » Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:33 am

Image Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View

Explanation: This view of the Apollo 17 landing site in the Taurus-Littrow valley was captured last month by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), the sharpest ever recorded from space. The high resolution image data was taken during a period when LRO's orbit was modified to create a close approach of about 22 kilometers as it passed over some of the Apollo landing sites. That altitude corresponds to only about twice the height of a commercial airline flight over planet Earth. Labeled in this image are Apollo 17 lunar lander Challenger's descent stage (inset), the lunar rover (LRV) at its final parking spot, and the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP) left to monitor the Moon's environment and interior. Clear, dual lunar rover tracks and the foot trails left by astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt, the last to walk on the lunar surface, are also easily visible at the Apollo 17 site.

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bystander
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Re: APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by bystander » Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:45 am

Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

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Re: APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by owlice » Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:47 am

I've let the editors know about the links not being set correctly for Next, Discuss, and Previous.
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Douglas L. Marin

Re: APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by Douglas L. Marin » Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:52 am

There doesn't appear to be any foot prints from the LRV to the Challenger Descent Stage. How did the astronaut get back to the CDS for blast off?

Douglas L. Martin

Re: APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by Douglas L. Martin » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:00 am

There doesn't appear to be footprints leading from the LRV to the Challenger Descent Stage. How did the Astronaut return to the Challenger for takeoff?

simlstar2004

Re: APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by simlstar2004 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:37 am

The image posted on APOD of the Apollo 17 landing site is not a very good resolution. When I checked its dpi it is only 1600 x 1200.
So if you want a better resolution of looking closer to the landing pod (using a graphic photo editor software eg: Photoshop or Photo Paint) just increase the image dpi to 6000 x 4500 dpi and then use the "unsharp mask tool" to increase the sharpness of the image. I did and it looks a lot better.

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Re: APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by JohnD » Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:47 am

Stunning pics, It's been counter-intuitive that while Hubble can take pics of the most distant objects in the Universe, out to the 13B light year limit, it can't take them of the Moon! So about time, as some might say, to have pics of the Apollo sites, though you really have to be a committed conspiracy theorist to need them.

What's amusing is that they are seriously unconverted! See the comments in the UK Daily Mail (never short of a conspiracy, or a nutcase) page about the new pics: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... ds-newsxml

John

Mr E

Re: APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by Mr E » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:06 am

Way better than any crop circles, I can see what could be the outline of Elvis, really, honestly, I can! (far right hand edge, immediately above the footprint trails) :lol:

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Re: APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by nstahl » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:16 am

Otto Posterman isn't doing its job so well. I'm tempted to suspect we don't have a robot doing our posting, but just a human pretending to be a robot at great taxpayer expense.

:)

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Re: APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by orin stepanek » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:18 pm

As Lincoln might say; You cane make most of the people happy some of the time; some of the people most of the time; but you cant make all of the people happy all the time. :mrgreen: I happen to think today's APOD is very neat! :!: 8-) :D
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/n ... sites.html
Last edited by orin stepanek on Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Orin

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rbonassoii

Re: APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by rbonassoii » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:19 pm

As I opened up today's picture,September 8, 2011, I noticed the tracks
in the surface of the moon of the rover and the astronauts footprints.
However, upon further inspection, if you look in the upper right hand
of the photograph, you will see what looks like foot trails leading a
spot where the initials "HS" have been made in the surface. It makes
sense, since Harrison Schmitt was on that mission!! As you look at the
photo, they appear upside down, but that is relative to the angle in
which the picture was taken.
Can this be possible??
I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

Dave S

Re: APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by Dave S » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:24 pm

22 km is a very close approach for a satellite. Does anyone know if this is a record? I'm wondering if Galileo or Cassini had any approaches near this close to Jovian or Saturnian moons.

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Re: APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by owlice » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:50 pm

rbonassoii wrote:you will see what looks like foot trails leading a spot where the initials "HS" have been made in the surface.
I believe this is the area you mean, yes?
Screen shot 2011-09-08 at 9.45.52 AM.jpg
That certainly does look like initials....!!
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Re: APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:10 pm

JohnD wrote:Stunning pics, It's been counter-intuitive that while Hubble can take pics of the most distant objects in the Universe, out to the 13B light year limit, it can't take them of the Moon! So about time, as some might say, to have pics of the Apollo sites, though you really have to be a committed conspiracy theorist to need them.
But a committed conspiracy theorist never needs any evidence! In fact, evidence to the contrary usually just makes a conspiracy nut even more entrenched. I recommend this fascinating little article about science deniers and conspiracy nuts. Whether you're talking about people who think the Moon landings were faked, that vaccines cause autism, that global warming is a hoax, the psychology is the same.
What's amusing is that they are seriously unconverted!
Actually, that reflects a somewhat rational attitude. After all, if you believe that we were able to fake an entire manned lunar exploration program, you really would be crazy to change your opinion based on a set of digital images.
Chris

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http://www.cloudbait.com

kailing

Re: APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by kailing » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:20 pm

rbonassoii wrote:As I opened up today's picture,September 8, 2011, I noticed the tracks
in the surface of the moon of the rover and the astronauts footprints.
However, upon further inspection, if you look in the upper right hand
of the photograph, you will see what looks like foot trails leading a
spot where the initials "HS" have been made in the surface. It makes
sense, since Harrison Schmitt was on that mission!! As you look at the
photo, they appear upside down, but that is relative to the angle in
which the picture was taken.
Can this be possible??
I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.
It seems like that. Hahaha he had good humor.

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Re: APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by owlice » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:23 pm

Let's not by our comments invite conspiracy theorists to comment, please. I've already removed one such post, and have other things I'd rather do this morning than deal with more. Thanks!
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APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by JohnD » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:51 pm

Chris,
Test of theory - we look. Closely.
And there IS evidence.
So the theory must, should be adapted to include the new evidence.
But it is difficult to do that, without throwing it out of the window.

As an astronomer, doesn't this bring to your mind the geo- and helio-centric solar system arguments? As more evidence accumulates, more denial is heaped up. It's human to hold onto a weak theory, especially if it's yours, but it isn't rational.

JOhn
Last edited by owlice on Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited to make post comply with rules

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Re: APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by Boomer12k » Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:00 pm

I prefer to get out my 10inch Meade LX200 GPS and do some REAL Astronomy!!!!

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Last edited by owlice on Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited to make post comply with rules

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Re: APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by neufer » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:05 pm

JohnD wrote:
It's been counter-intuitive that while Hubble can take pics of the most distant objects in the Universe, out to the 13B light year limit, it can't take them of the Moon!
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has a mirror diameter of 2.4 m
and is 350,000km from the moon's surface.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) has a mirror diameter of 0.195 m
but it is just 22km from the moon's surface.

For HST to have the lunar resolution of the LROC
it would need a mirror diameter of about 3100 meters [= 0.195 x (350,000/22) m].

If you want good pictures of the moon or planets it makes the most sense to just go there.

If you want good pictures of galaxies or stars it makes the most sense to place large apertures in as dark an environment as possible.
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by Ann » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:10 pm

To me the Moon landing - and then I mean Apollo 11, of course - wasn't life-changing. It made a greater impression on me to go out at night and look at the stars with my newly-acquired knowledge that these tiny points of lights were mighty suns unimaginably far away than it did to go out and look at the Moon and try to comprehend that there were people up there.

Still, I did go out and looked at the Moon and tried to comprehend that there were people up there. It felt unreal, because the Moon looked exactly the same as before. (Yes, I realized, even back then, that the Moon was so far away and the astronauts were so tiny compared with the Moon that it was impossible to see any signs of the astronauts and their equipment from the Earth.)

I remember that everybody was in awe. The whole thing was just so solemn, so incomprehensibly amazing. But the wonder waned quickly. There was soon another Apollo mission, Apollo 12, but the media, which had treated Apollo 11 as the pinnacle of human progress (and perhaps it was), treated Apollo 12 as old news. The there was Apollo 13, and we were all riveted again, biting our nails as we fervently hoped that the astronauts would return home safe and sound. When they did, we cheered. It was so heroic. But then there was Apollo 14, and nothing special happened. Apollo 15, 16 and 17 came and went. And then it was all over.

Now, almost 40 years later, we get to see physical signs of humanity on the Moon. It is so poignant. For me it is like returning to my youth again and to a time of innocence, when everything seemed possible, and yet, also the time when NASA accepted that the returns on the investments into the Apollo mission no longer matched the costs. It was a turning point, perhaps in more ways than was obvious back then.

But it is very poignant to see these signs of humanity on the Moon. In a way they are like the pyramids in Egypt: awesome reminders of the fantastic efforts of people in the past, and their incredible accomplishments.

Ann
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Re: APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by neufer » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:51 pm

Dave S wrote:
22 km is a very close approach for a satellite. Does anyone know if this is a record? I'm wondering if Galileo or Cassini had any approaches near this close to Jovian or Saturnian moons.
Well...there has been one extraterrestrial moon landing
(with pictures all the way down): http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050117.html

Dangerous close flybys have only been attempted on extended missions:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassini%E2%80%93Huygens wrote:
<<On March 12, 2008, Cassini made a close fly-by of Enceladus, getting within 50 km of the moon's surface. The spacecraft passed through the plumes extending from its southern geysers, detecting water, carbon dioxide and various hydrocarbons with its mass spectrometer, while also mapping surface features that are at much higher temperature than their surroundings with the infrared spectrometer.>>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_%28spacecraft%29 wrote:
<<Once Galileo's prime mission was concluded, an extended mission followed, starting on December 7, 1997; the spacecraft made a number of daring close flybys of Jupiter's moons Europa and Io. The closest approach (to Io) was 180 km on October 15, 2001. The radiation environment near Io in particular was very unhealthy for Galileo's systems, and so these flybys were saved for the extended mission when loss of the spacecraft would be more acceptable.>>
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by owlice » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:29 pm

There is at least one set of initials on the moon from Apollo 17:
While Jack cleaned up inside, I drove the Rover about a mile away from the LM and parked it carefully so the television camera could photograph our takeoff the next day. As I dismounted, I took a moment to kneel and with a single finger, scratched [my daughter] Tracy's initials, T D C, in the lunar dust, knowing those three letters would remain there undisturbed for more years than anyone could imagine.
http://www.nationalaviation.org/cernan-eugene/
(Also in the book Cernan authored called The Last Man on the Moon: Astronaut Eugene Cernan and America's Race in Space.)
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Donnageddon

Re: APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by Donnageddon » Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:22 pm

Pics or it didn't happe... oh wait.

Very cool!

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Re: APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by BMAONE23 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:28 pm

Probably, the only way to silence conspiracy theorists is to return to the moon and blanket a crater that is visible to small telescopes with something like Red Umbrellas.

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Re: APOD: Apollo 17 Site: A Sharper View (2011 Sep 08)

Post by bystander » Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:06 pm

Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor