August 2, 2007

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A Dream Come True

Apollo 15 image from ASU’s Apollo Image Archive

The Holy Grail of high resolution lunar photography is the Metric and Panorama camera imagery from Apollo 15 to 17. These extraordinary images have resolutions of 6 m and ~1 m, respectively; to work with them as large photographic prints is a wonderful privelege. Thanks to the digitization efforts of the Lunar & Planetary Institute, browse images have been available online for three years. But those handy images drastically under-represent the quality of the originals. Now we can all rejoice. Mark Robinson of Arizona State University has started a program to digitize at full resolution all of the Apollo Metric, Pan, Hasselblad, and 35 mm images. Each month over the next three years new batches of them will be placed online, starting with the Metrics and followed by the Pans. The full resolution Metric images are huge - 1.3 GB - but smaller versions (the smallest is 28 MB) can be downloaded. You may not want to download at all because the images also will be accessible within a 9.5 X 11 cm (on my laptop) window that shows anything between the entire frame to a maximum resolution tiny piece of it - all quite quickly because a constant number of pixels is shown no matter what the resolution. Some old time LPOD readers may remember Mark Robinson’s name - we also have him to thank for the digitization of Don Wilhelms’ classic The Geologic History of the Moon.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details
Intro to Matric & Pan images

Yesterday's LPOD: A Shameless Plug

Tomorrow's LPOD: No Stratton


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