July 1, 2004

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Apollo Metrics


Apollo Metrics

Yesterday I sent an email saying that the Lunar and Planetary Institute would soon post online images of the Apollo Metric Camera images. "Soon" has come - its today! The Metric camera was one of the two very high resolution cameras added to Apollos 15 to 17 - the other was the Panoramic camera. Both were film cameras - essentially the same as flown on high altitude spy planes - and had to be retrieved from the Service Module by the Apollo astronaut who didn't get to land on the lunar surface. From its nominal altitude of 110 km above the lunar surface the Metric Camera took square photos 165 km on a side with 20 m resolution. LPI has scanned all 6871 of these images and you can access them three ways: browse thru them roll by roll (most fun), search by feature name or by latitude and longitude. It would be very helpful if this database could also be searched backwards - for example, if you find a fascinating photo from the browse image, to determine what features it shows and where its located. This would be especially valuable for the farside and limb images, like this one of Humboldt and Hecataeus. A warning - the LPI images are browse images that were rapidly and automatically scanned and do not do justice to the high quality of the originals. Many of the images have too much contrast, but if you use them to identify an image that you want to order a quality print copy of they will have served their purpose. But being a child of the Internet (well, really an old man), I would love to see higher quality versions online!

Chuck Wood

Technical Details:
Once you find a great Metric Camera image you can - with some difficulty - order a high quality print of it from NSSDC or one of NASA's Regional Planetary Image Facilities.

Related Links:
Apollo Metric Camera
Humboldt Crater

Yesterday's LPOD: Tobacco Lunar Science

Tomorrow's LPOD: Boring (?)

Author & Editor:
Charles A. Wood



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