Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Picture of the Century restored

November 24, 1966 Lunar Orbiter 2 took this photo of Copernicus (the crater not the guy) from an altitude of 28 miles over the lunar surface. The crater is 150 miles north of where this was taken.
Most of the photos taken at that time were straight down, since NASA was trying to find good landing sites for the Apollo spacecraft. This was the first image that really showed some of he roughness of the moon's topography.
According to Wikipedia: "In 1966 the crater was photographed from an oblique angle by Lunar Orbiter 2 as one of 12 "housekeeping" pictures that were taken to advance the roll of film between possible astronaut landing sites being surveyed. At the time this detailed image of the lunar surface was termed by NASA Scientist Martin Swetnick and subsequently quoted by Time magazine as "one of the great pictures of the century."
This is just the latest of the old re-processed images that the The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) has released. The resolution of the photos is about 1 meter per pixel. If you have enough memory in your computer to qualify for at least "Vista Capable" sticker, plus more, and about 2.2 gigs open hard drive, you can download the full .tiff image. I tired it at work on my Mac and it kind of choked, but what would I do with a 2 gig image file anyway? Try if you dare!
(Click to enlarge image)

| The full sized 2.2 Gig .tiff |
| A much more reasonable sized image (you want this one!) |
| All the details from Moonviews.com |

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