OK, my analysis begins.
I'm going to go through this very slowly, step by step, probably dragging it on (interminably) over several days. Why?
Simply to give the opportunity for anyone to add, debate or object to each step of the process. And I won't proceed until there is general agreement
- although if anyone argues points without demonstrating a correct alternative approach, or who uses non-repeatable methods or cannot cite credible
references.. I'm afraid I won't be taking that too seriously.
First of all, let's clarify the 'Conundrum'.
In the NASA Apollo image AS17-141-21608, taken during the Apollo 17 mission on a Hasselblad 70mm still film camera fitted with Zeiss Distagon 60mm
lens and loaded with Kodak 3401 Plus-XX black and white film, there is (according to Nasa) a reflection in astronaut Eugene A. Cernan's visor showing
Harrison "Jack" Schmitt, who took the photo. The reflection *appears* to show Schmitt angled away somewhat from the scene, and does not clearly
show his PLSS (backpack) - although the shadow does appear to show a backpack.
The full image is linked here as a high resolution film scan:
The area in question is near the top left. That is the highest resolution scan found to date.
Here is the area in question, at ACTUAL pixel size:
Here it is again, enlarged using no interpolation
, showing the actual scanned pixels clearly:
1. Any other enlargements shown on this thread that do NOT have this pixelated quality, have been generated by software that uses interpolation
routines. Interpolation, by definition, means that the program has 'guessed' the added pixels, and smoothed out the image. Such added detail is
NOT valid data, and cannot be used for valid image analysis or forensics.
The ONLY way to extract more detail from the original film image would be to rescan it at higher resolution. However, the image is already showing
film grain along with blurring, either from a focus error, camera movement, or lens aberrations. So it is most unlikely that rescanning at a higher
resolution would add any useful information.
2. The reflected astronaut figure is quite unclear and appears to be approximately 55-59 pixels high (more about this later) and 17-22 pixels wide.
It is not possible to clearly resolve or identify details on the astronaut that would be below aproximately 3-4" (75-100mm) actual size.
3. It is evident that parts of the astronaut are at or below the same brightness level as the background lunar regolith.
The regolith has greyscale values of approximately 110-120, but reaches >150 in some places.
The astronaut's greyscale values range from ~70 (shadowed areas of legs/boot) up to ~180 (sunlit helmet).
Thus endeth part 1. To be continued...
Informed and educated comments, and constructive criticism most welcome. I'm most happy to be corrected by those better informed than me.
[edit on 26-4-2010 by CHRLZ]