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From Gizmodo's There's Poop on the Moon list of things left on the moon:

  • This gold-plated telescope that was the first tool used to make astronomical observations from the surface of another planetary body:

The article links to the Air and Space Museum page APOLLO 16, Viewing Earth from the Moon, Dr. Carruthers' Telescope and one of the images there shows much better detail. Was it "point and shoot" or semi-autmoatic? Film-only or some video or electronic measurements as well? Did it do any data collection after the astronauts left?

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Source

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"George Carruthers (right) and William Conway (left) with the gold-plated ultraviolet camera/spectrograph invented by Dr. George Carruthers." Source

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    $\begingroup$ That photo of the scope in the LM's shadow looks so incredibly fake that I'd date it to the early 21st century and become a moon landing denier if it weren't for it being reproduced in the contemporary A16 Preliminary Science Report. $\endgroup$ Sep 5, 2023 at 21:33
  • $\begingroup$ @RussellBorogove the only thing holding you back from becoming a moon landing denier is the contemporary A16 Preliminary Science Report? Why don't you go ahead and ask a new question, something like "Why does this image look unrealistic - is it real?" I can't work out the shadows, but this extremely shiny object is certainly well lit by reflected light from the lunar surface and reflection from the photographer's white space suit. cf. Which Apollo "mystery" was said to be finally solved by a better rendering engine? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Sep 5, 2023 at 22:03
  • $\begingroup$ @RussellBorogove I'm certainly open to the possibility of it being enhanced but here's a link for the image airandspace.si.edu/multimedia-gallery/5492640jpg where it's identified as ID#: AS16-114-18439 See also nasa.gov/feature/remembering-the-first-moon-based-telescope Note that the metal surfaces more facing the lander and shadowed areas are dark, and those surfaces facing bright lunar surface are bright. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Sep 5, 2023 at 22:09
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    $\begingroup$ I think "Which Apollo mystery" answers the question you propose pretty well. $\endgroup$ Sep 5, 2023 at 22:28
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    $\begingroup$ @RussellBorogove - I had the same reaction, I had never seen this photo before and my first thought was that it looked fake. I assumed it wasn't for nefarious reasons but just to create a cohesive image with the telescope, rover, flag, and conveniently posed astronaut all in the frame. On closer inspection I began to realize that it appeared to be real, and my next thought was oh no, I hope the landing deniers don't get a hold of this one or we'll have to go through another round of debunking. I suspect that the additional brightness comes from being within a few inches of the lighted surface. $\endgroup$ Sep 11, 2023 at 13:40

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The instrument is described in the Apollo 16 Preliminary Science Report document as "the far UV camera / spectrograph".

The whole of Chapter 13 of this document is dedicated to a description of the instrument, its use during the mission, and preliminary results from it.

I am having difficulty copying text out of the pdf, so here is the page with the description.

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The device used film which was returned by the crew, so there were no observations done after they left.

Here is the page with the preliminary science results.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ This is great, thanks! Figure 13-2 looks familiar. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jan 11, 2019 at 17:51
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    $\begingroup$ Those Preliminary Science Reports are really good. I have a paper copy of the one from Apollo 17. $\endgroup$ Jan 11, 2019 at 17:55
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    $\begingroup$ Reading your answers over time I've gotten the impression you've got quite a personal library. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jan 11, 2019 at 17:57
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    $\begingroup$ At (sadly) estate sales and used book stores around JSC, you can find some amazing stuff. $\endgroup$ Jan 11, 2019 at 17:57
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    $\begingroup$ George Carruthers (on the right in my photo) is the PI and first author of chapter 13 in your link as well as in the report linked in my comment, and also the inventor US3478216 $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jan 12, 2019 at 6:23

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