Questions tagged [photography]

Questions on taking images in space or of spacecraft.

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118
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1answer
8k views

How many extraterrestrial bodies have hosted a “lander” which returned images?

For the purposes of this question, we will consider a "lander" any probe which was sent to the surface of an extraterrestrial body or entered the atmosphere to a point which exceeds an air pressure of ...
90
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4answers
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How did Apollo 16 capture this full photograph of the Moon's far side?

Apollo 16 famously photographed the far side of the Moon, as seen below. This seems odd to me. Apollo 16 orbited the Moon at an orbit of only 100 km. It seems too close to get this kind of a ...
61
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1answer
11k views

Which Apollo “mystery” was said to be finally solved by a better rendering engine?

I remember reading several years ago about a mystery or puzzle about a photograph from an Apollo moon landing mission that had to do with why someone's suit was as bright as it was in the photo. There ...
46
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2answers
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How did the Apollo astronauts change film in their cameras?

Part of Apollo astronaut training was learning to be a pretty good photographer without a viewfinder. The Hasselblad 500EL Data Camera used magazines with 160 color/200 B&W exposures on 70mm film. ...
45
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Have spacecraft photographed each other beyond Earth orbit?

There are several answers to Could a spy satellite image another satellite? and one answer with several examples to How many spacecraft have taken a “Pale Blue Dot” type photo of the Earth from beyond ...
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Is photography from a satellite good enough to make out a person on the ground?

When I first saw Google Maps satellite view many years ago, I remember being greatly impressed (and somewhat surprised) with the image quality, considering the photographs came from up there in space. ...
36
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2answers
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Was the “Earthrise” witnessed by Apollo 8 the first available “full” photo of the Earth?

Was the video/photos taken during the earth-rise on the Apollo 8 flight the first "blue marble"-esque photo? I've heard the image equated to the "earth's first selfie" and question the technical ...
34
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1answer
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Have any of the rovers ever recorded a solar eclipse on Mars?

I've heard a rumor that Curiosity rover sent a recording about Phobos covering the Sun on the Martian sky. Did it happen? If yes, how frequently could such things be recorded?
33
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2answers
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Has anyone in space seen or photographed a simple laser pointer from Earth?

In the question How to make a green LED as visually bright as a 0 magnitude star? I worked out that a 100 mA green LED with a 10° half-angle 18 kilometers away would be as bright as a 0th magnitude ...
31
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1answer
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Who took the Curiosity rover's self-portrait photo from the surface of Mars?

Curiosity is missing an arm, can you help us find it? The self-portrait photograph of the Curiosity rover from the Gale Crater is probably one of the most well known ones of this particular rover of ...
29
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3answers
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What did the sky actually look like from the Moon?

All the photographs I've seen from the Apollo missions show lunar features in good detail and exposure. This of course means that the shutter is not open long enough for light from stars to develop on ...
24
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4answers
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How did astronauts frame photos without a viewfinder?

On specially built Hasselblad cameras, how did astronauts operate the camera controls with bulky gloves on, and how did they frame photos without a viewfinder?
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Why does the sky of Mars appear blue in this video of pictures sent back by the Chinese rover?

Is there any explanation for the blue sky of Mars shown in this video of photos transmitted by the Chinese rover? Zhurong Rover is driving on Mars sending back new images (Chinese Tianwen-1 mission) -...
20
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1answer
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Has the Earth's red atmosphere rim ever been photographed?

In the Wikipedia article on Lunar eclipse there's given an image of how the Earth would look from the eclipsed Moon: This is obviously a schematic drawing. So I wonder, has the Earth ever been ...
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3answers
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Usage of Apollo Lunar Surface Hasselblad Camera with 500 mm lens?

Here is a list of photographic cameras used for Apollo 16. There were two Lunar Surface Data Hasselblads equipped with a 60 mm lens for both astronauts to be used with chest mounts to the space suits....
19
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1answer
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Could New Horizons take a “Pale Blue Dot”-like image this year?

Answers to At what exact time was the Pale Blue Dot image taken? say that the famous image was taken by Voyager 1 on 14-Feb-1990 and it took until May of that year for all the data to be sent back to ...
17
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1answer
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Who zoomed the video camera in and out when David Scott dropped the feather and hammer on the Moon?

This answer to Have optical zoom systems been used in space exploration? explains that there were video cameras on the Moon that could zoom. In the video below someone (or something) is zooming the ...
17
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1answer
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What are the black and white circular patterns on the Curiosity rover?

On the Mars Curiosity rover, there are black and white circular patterns or marks spaced around the rover, as seen here marked in lime green:     What are these? If I had to guess, ...
16
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2answers
6k views

What are the small crosses on space pictures, and what's their purpose?

Often I see small crosses on space pictures like this. They are regularly spaced, thin and black. What are them? What's their purpose?
16
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2answers
872 views

Two week mark; has Mayak (Маяк) been spotted yet? Reflector deployed? Astronomy “ruined”?

Deborah Byrd's article Have you seen the Mayak satellite? explains Mayak with a bit of humor: A team of young Russians – led by Moscow State Mechanical Engineering University (MAMI) – managed to ...
15
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6answers
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Is the “Mars blue dune” actually blue? And what makes it so?

NASA recently released an image of a blue dune on Mars. The accompanying story seems to suggest to me that it is a false color image - some property of that part of the image is detected and rendered ...
14
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4answers
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How many photographs are there of the whole Earth?

Most of the representations of the Earth from space that one sees are inventions, meant to clearly show the things people most want to see - the outlines of the continents, instead of mostly clouds as ...
13
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7answers
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Where are the pictures during the time the pictures are sent from space to home?

Obviously the pics aren't floating around, but how can I explain this to a 10 year old?
13
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4answers
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How do astronauts take pictures from outside the ISS?

I've seen multiple images taken from outside the Space Station like this one or this one and even timelapses from far outside showing the solar panels moving over time. Is there a satellite ...
13
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1answer
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Have astronauts in space suits ever taken selfies? If so, how?

Have astronauts in space suits ever taken selfies? Were selfie sticks used? If not, how was this feat accomplished?
13
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1answer
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Were these Apollo 14 and 15 recovery images taken (by a Navy frogman) using an underwater camera?

These images were taken after the flotation collar was mounted and inflated by the frogmen. Also the raft was inflated. The divers jumped off a helicopter before, no rescue ship was present. Camera ...
13
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2answers
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Have there been any photos taken of a total Earth-Sun eclipse from the Moon, or its vicinity?

There's a supermoon lunar eclipse ongoing right now (Sept. 27/28, 2015), and it got me thinking that a great way to show to people why the Moon is reddish -- when eclipsed by the Earth -- would be if ...
13
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1answer
373 views

Do Mars rovers protect optical windows during dust storms? Do they “avert their eyes” or do they just “grin and bear it”?

The question Did any lander or rover photograph the sun rising or setting during a Martian dust storm? makes me think of the images below showing the stuff blown around and on to martian rovers. I'm ...
12
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3answers
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Why are there double shadows in this Apollo 14 magazine?

In magazine AS14/KK there are clear double LEM shadows present where only one should be. I can't find any evidence of double exposure. How did this happen? I've even found 2 shadows that overlap and ...
12
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2answers
2k views

Picture of equipment left on the Moon?

When people visited the Moon, they left sizeable items behind. I know that taking picture of this from Earth is incredibly hard, but: Did someone try? And what pictures do we have?
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3answers
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Are pictures taken from ISS geolocalized?

I guess my question is "naive". I get from https://images-api.nasa.gov some pictures of Earth from ISS without any description (just the mission number) or pictures of crewmembers. Taken ...
11
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2answers
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Most distant photo of the sun?

What is the most distant photo taken of our sun? I am guessing it may be from Voyager 1, but can't find an actual photo anywhere.
11
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1answer
464 views

How did Ingenuity get such a sharp image of the shadow of its own high-speed helicopter blades?

On the NASA released self-picture of Ingenuity, shot while hovering over Mars' surface the shadow of Ingenuity with its blades is very clean. The rotational speed of the blades is said to be around ...
10
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4answers
613 views

Single-shot Blue Marble pictures

I was quite surprised to read in today's Earth Observatory Picture of the Day that the DSCOVR spacecraft, currently en route to the $L_1$ Lagrange point, will be the first spacecraft able to see the ...
10
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1answer
185 views

Significance of Venus surface photos

Out of curiosity, I started looking for photos of Venus surface taken by various Russian probes. There is a nice collection here: http://mentallandscape.com/C_CatalogVenus.htm Not being a geologist, I ...
9
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2answers
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Why is so much of InSight visible in this image?

It seems really strange to me that there is so little visible of the surface in this image, it mostly appears to be the deck of InSight. Why is so little visible?
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1answer
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Did the medium range KTM tracking cameras for the Shuttle really have a “150 inch lens”?

The Curious Droid YouTube video How did NASA get those great film shots of Apollo and the Shuttle? found here and linked-to in this comment contains the following passage starting at ...
9
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2answers
485 views

Can ISS astronauts see the lava from the Kilauea volcano at night?

The google news said "Lava from the Kilauea volcano can be seen from space" but it just links to the YouTube video of the same name. The screen shot of the video below shows a small ESA credit at the ...
9
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2answers
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What is this huge, red, blinking light structure on Earth seen from the ISS in this video?

The video ESA video Progress launch timelapse seen from space is of course striking for many reasons. However there is a strange, blinking light structure on Earth that's quite puzzling! I've added a ...
9
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1answer
407 views

How does the ISS Transit Finder website get the position of the ISS so accurately?

The recent Petapixel article How to Shoot the ISS Flying Across the Face of the Moon gives a lot of detailed, helpful advice for photographing transits of the ISS across the disk of the Moon. For ...
9
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2answers
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Why does NASA still use film cameras?

According to this video, NASA still operates some cameras for tracking rocket launches that use film: According to NASA, they even have some film cameras placed around their launch site loaded ...
8
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1answer
2k views

Why not a “live” visual connection with Curiosity on Mars all the time?

Note: Got the idea for this question by @uhoh's question: "Has anything close to video ("live" or otherwise) been shot in space from beyond the Moon ? To have the "feeling" of a "live" connection ...
8
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1answer
452 views

How can stellar images be “subtracted” from a sequence of exposures? (difference imaging)

The press release UH ATLAS telescope discovers first-of-its-kind asteroid from the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Hawaii shows an image of an "active asteroid" among a field of stars. ...
8
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2answers
269 views

When approaching target planets/moons, how frequently do spacecrafts take photographs?

When a spacecraft approaches its target (whatever is it a moon or a planet), how do they take photographs about it? Do they take as much as possible, or just in certain situations? What does it ...
8
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2answers
109 views

What is the highest resolution camera on a Mars orbiter?

The GeoEye-1 satellite has the high resolution imaging system and is able to collect images with a ground resolution of 0.41 meters (16 inches) How about Mars then? From all the Mars orbiter's cameras,...
8
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1answer
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What is making the glow from this image of STS-135 going home, de-orbit burn or re-entry?

I found the image below in a NASA image gallery for 2014. There, the text only says: This unprecedented view of the space shuttle Atlantis, appearing like a bean sprout against clouds and city lights,...
8
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1answer
561 views

Has the Earth's shadow on the Moon (lunar eclipse) ever been photographed from Space?

The questions Has the Moon's shadow on the Earth (solar eclipse) ever been photographed from beyond Earth orbit? Is this the only eclipse where Moon's shadow on the Earth (umbra) has been ...
8
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2answers
255 views

Film emulsion on the moon-were the cameras heated?

Re: moon photos : What prevented the film emulsion in the camera used on the moon from freezing and cracking, or simply becoming insensitive from cold? Is film resistant to such extreme cold? What ...
8
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2answers
482 views

How were video tape recorders adapted to work in orbit in 1962?

Livescience's Satellite spies gigantic 'fuzzball' clouds spreading near Australia coast says: Actinoform clouds were first captured by NASA’s Television Infrared Observation Satellite V in 1962, but ...
8
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0answers
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Was this the first-ever photo of a full moon very close to lunar new year?

Limiting the concept of "lunar new year" to "Chinese New Year" (since there are many lunar and lunisolar calendars, the latter of which the traditional Chinese one is a widely used example), is this ...