November 16, 2008
Lunar Orbiter I-102 high (above) and medium (below) res images from Moon Views and Lunar Planetary Institute with extra processing by CAW
With much fanfare NASA has re-released the earliest US image of the Earth as seen from the Moon. This Orbiter 1 image was originally released in 1966 when it was a unique, never before seen view that dramatically documented our new prowess in space. The recent re-release follows a long saga of saving and repairing the large 40 year old tape drives needed to read the massive tapes that record the data. Researches and a student associated with NASA Ames Research Center removed the stripes from a section of a high res image that Orbiter acquired in association with a medium resolution broader view. I did not care for the Ames version - the Moon had too low contrast and detail was still recoverable from the Earth, so I further enhanced their restored view to produce the image above. I also added (and enhanced) part of the medium resolution scene to provide context. When the image was taken the Orbiter spacecraft was on the farside of the Moon looking towards what we see as the eastern limb. The dark-floored crater is Tsiolkovky, with Fermi to its immediate left. If you carefully step toward the limb you will discover that the crater in the foreground of the Ames re-release is Khwol'son, which makes its first appearance on LPOD.
Yesterday's LPOD: Indian Close-Up
Tomorrow's LPOD: Sunset & Moonrise