Nasa cut and paste an apollo image, they wouldn't would they.
Those crazy NASA guys.
Geology 101 Field Trip
Image created by David Harland (182k; jpg). All rights reserved.
This image is derived from one that I made as a serious, monochrome rendition of Tracy's Rock, which is at Apollo 17 Station 6 in the valley of
Taurus-Littrow. That image (507k;jpg) is in the Journal, too. It was based on a set of high-definition frames that were supplied by Mike Gentry at
NASA Johnson and were scanned by Ron Wells. I downloaded and mosaicked them. By holding that resolution, I produced an enormous image; but scrolling
across it is half the fun!
I saw that Jack Schmitt wasn't in frame, so I went to another frame, which was only 30-cm wide, in which he was present, and borrowed him. But he was
the wrong scale, and he didn't blow up all that well; he looked a little fuzzy when I pasted him in, so I deleted him and went to bed in disgust,
because without someone in the frame to provide a sense of scale, that block could be any size.
Inspiration struck, however. Expanding Jack hadn't worked, but shrinking him might, so I leapt out of bed and hunted for a another frame of that
scene, with him in; but I hadn't downloaded much Apollo 17. I'd been working on Apollo 15 and 16, and was only just starting reading up on 17, so I
didn't have that shot on file. As a joke, I stole a picture of Jim Irwin saluting Old Glory on the Plain at Hadley, a high-definition frame which
I'd received in the mail a few hours earlier from Kipp Teague, as a swap for sending him the pan of Tracy's Rock, and I shrank him down and stuck
him on top of the rock. It was magnificent! So I went back to bed feeling pretty pleased with myself.
The next day, I took another look. It was still magnificent. So I borrowed a few more shots of those intrepid moonwalkers Dave, Jim, John and Charlie,
and put them in too. It was truly hilarious! Over the last week or so, I've added some of Al (Shepard), Ed and Buzz. I belatedly sought out a few of
Gene and Jack and put them in. I'll see about Pete and Al, and might even put in their Surveyor. There wasn't a Neil available, however; so,
although he was the first to tread the lunar dust, he isn't represented here, but this is probably for the better because he never did like
What started as an exercise in documentation (producing the serious pan), spun-off a nice bit of fun, but there's a serious side to this image, and
that's the fact that it is an exceedingly good illustration of the difficulty of judging distance on the lunar surface. In the real pan, I had no
difficulty in accepting that the valley is 10 km wide, and that the South Massif is 2,500 meters high. I would never have guessed that from looking at
the picture, but I can accept it without it jarring. That's the problem that the guys faced. Only, in their case, there was nobody to tell them how
far away things are. Of course, they knew from their maps that the valley was that wide, and that the massif was that high. But how large are those
craters out there? And, hence, how far away are they? In fact, the big crater behind the rock is Henry, and it's a kilometer or so off. I know that
because I have the map, too. But I couldn't have said without it. By placing a little Jack Schmitt on its rim (borrowed from a pan at Camelot, where
he was caught running back to the Rover), that crater suddenly becomes a whole lot closer, and a lot smaller. In the real world, if he'd really been
on the rim, he'd have been no more than a pixel high.
Another point that is illustrated in this imaginary scene is that it seems remarkable that the lighting is so consistent. But think about it...all the
missions landed at the same local time, so I didn't have too much trouble mixing and matching them. Where necessary, I reversed the images so that
astronauts were lit from the right side; and, if they still looked out of place I added shadows, and, of course, I drew in the shadows on the ground
too. It took a hell of a lot of work, so it wasn't an easy mosaic to make up. It was worth it though! What is truly amazing is that nobody's ever
done it before.
Bob Farwell has created a collage to show all twelve of the Moonwalkers at Taurus-Littrow. Bob writes "The Moonwalker Collage was the result of many
hours of digital editing. It was not a simple mater of finding the right astronaut photo and cut and pasting it into the background - which, by the
way, is Apollo 14 photograph AS14-66-9337 with an Apollo 17 LM and an Apollo 11 crescent Earth. Rather than boring the reader with gruesome details,
suffice it to say that only 4 of the 12 astronauts are taken directly from their official NASA portraits. The remaining 8 were put together a piece at
a time!" 12 July 2001
Apollo 11 Double Vision
Mauro Freschi has provided a previously unknown Apollo 11 photos showing twin astronauts