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168 votes
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How did Apollo 16 capture this full photograph of the Moon's far side?

The photo (frame 3021) appears to have been taken from an approximate altitude of 1180 KM, on the return journey to Earth. We infer it was taken on the return journey as frame 3005 was taken after ...
Leorex's user avatar
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107 votes
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Which Apollo "mystery" was said to be finally solved by a better rendering engine?

NVIDIA rendered Aldrin descending to the surface and discovered that, just as the conspiracies claimed, it couldn't be reproduced with direct light from the sun as the sole light source. Of course, as ...
Tom Goodfellow's user avatar
79 votes

Have spacecraft photographed each other beyond Earth orbit?

Yes, here is a picture of the Curiosity lander spacecraft taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The picture was taken about one minute prior to the landing of Curiosity. Image from https://www....
Organic Marble's user avatar
55 votes

Have spacecraft photographed each other beyond Earth orbit?

The Mars Odyssey orbiter was photographed by Mars Global Surveyor in 2005. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mgs_odyssey.gif https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA07941 Figure 1: Why ...
Heopps's user avatar
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49 votes

Why does the sky of Mars appear blue in this video of pictures sent back by the Chinese rover?

Despite my comments about the sky not always being red, I think there is a simpler explanation. This video was made by a "content" company on a monetized YouTube channel. The screenshot is ...
uhoh's user avatar
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44 votes
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Was the "Earthrise" witnessed by Apollo 8 the first available "full" photo of the Earth?

No; the first full views of Earth from high-altitude satellites predate Apollo 8 by at least two years. This web page has a nice progression of pictures of Earth from space from 1959 on. A Soviet ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
41 votes
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Why is this Planet Labs video wobbly?

Don't look at this from the perspective of why this was so lousy. Look at it from the perspective why this is so good. I thought Earth-observing satellites need to be extremely stable to provide a ...
David Hammen's user avatar
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41 votes
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What is the provenance of this photo of the Great Lakes from space?

Not yet definitive, so still a guess.. but...it seems to match this example: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/great-lakes-from-space-1980-nasa.html Great Lakes From Space, 1980 EARTH FROM SPACE, ...
blobbymcblobby's user avatar
38 votes

How did astronauts frame photos without a viewfinder?

The astronauts did a lot of training with the cameras. The used 60 mm wide angle lens (angular field diagonal 63°, side 47°) and the large image format (53 * 53 mm) helped them in framing. The 500 mm ...
Uwe's user avatar
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35 votes
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Has anyone in space seen or photographed a simple laser pointer from Earth?

Don Pettit mentioned a an experiment set up with the San Antonio Astronomical Society who pointed both spotlights and a blue laser pointer at the ISS, pictured below in a 5-10 second exposure: I ...
Magic Octopus Urn's user avatar
31 votes

Have spacecraft photographed each other beyond Earth orbit?

some examples: LRO images of the Apollo landing sites. This is Apollo 11: Cassini and Huygens: this is Huygens as seen by Cassini, 12 hours after Huygens was released. Rosetta and Philae. ...
Hobbes's user avatar
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30 votes
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Why is so much of InSight visible in this image?

That image was taken by the Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC). It's located on the arm. With the arm in stowed position, it's logical that a section of the deck is in view. In other words, it's an ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
30 votes
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Why not a "live" visual connection with Curiosity on Mars all the time?

Why not? Because we can't. We don't have full-time communication with Curiosity: Curiosity sends data to the Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter and Mars Odyssey. These are overhead twice a day at 12-hour ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
28 votes
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Who zoomed the video camera in and out when David Scott dropped the feather and hammer on the Moon?

Ed Fendell, a controller in Houston was controlling the rover camera. It’s in the EVA-3 mission logs. https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a15/a15.clsout3.html
Anthony Stevens's user avatar
26 votes

Rock arches on the moon?

There's a saying, "ask 4 geologists about a geological feature and you'll get 5 or 6 answers, maybe more". My interpretation of what you have highlighted is not a rock arch - an arched rock ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 13.1k
24 votes

How did Apollo 16 capture this full photograph of the Moon's far side?

The initial Lunar orbit was roughly 100x300 km, with the further point being at the far side. From the mission transcripts, we learn of a request to photograph the Moon at the terminator, at the far ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
22 votes
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Are pictures taken from ISS geolocalized?

In actuality it works like this: The location of the ISS at the time Earth photos are taken by the US ISS crew is calculated by the ground. The process is called 'Crew Earth Observation' and it's ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
22 votes

Rock arches on the moon?

If it helps, following the citation trail leads to the back side of the same rock formation being visible on three other photographs on the same reel of film: https://history.nasa.gov/alsj/a16/AS16-...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
21 votes

Usage of Apollo Lunar Surface Hasselblad Camera with 500 mm lens?

As it happens, on Apollo 17, Gene Cernan got a picture of Jack Schmitt using a handheld camera with the 500mm lens on the surface of the moon! At the Station 6 site, Schmitt braced himself against a ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
21 votes

Was the "Earthrise" witnessed by Apollo 8 the first available "full" photo of the Earth?

Although not a blue marble as it's in black and white, Lunar Orbiter 1 took an earlier Earthrise photo on August 23, 1966. This is the first picture of the Earth from Lunar orbit. In 2008, the Lunar ...
David Moews's user avatar
20 votes
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Has the Earth's red atmosphere rim ever been photographed?

As discussed here, very few satellites have ever orbited at a higher altitude than the moon, making images from lunar orbiters our highest imagers of eclipses from orbit. In fact, in order to get a 1:...
Jack's user avatar
  • 9,966
20 votes
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Have astronauts in space suits ever taken selfies? If so, how?

Several space selfies were made and chances are you already know the very first one Buzz Aldrin took of himself during Gemini 12. The cameras used are large-ish but imagine even holding a shoe box in ...
DarkDust's user avatar
  • 12.5k
20 votes
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Could New Horizons take a "Pale Blue Dot"-like image this year?

From the Johns Hopkins University page: It is possible that another flyby target can be found and reached with New Horizons' remaining fuel supply. And after that? Another exciting possibility ...
Uwe's user avatar
  • 49.2k
19 votes
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Did the medium range KTM tracking cameras for the Shuttle really have a "150 inch lens"?

The lens is a Brashear (now L3) SR 150 lens. Focal length 150" - 3810 mm Aperture 15.4" - 391 mm This is a Cassegrain-type lens. The lenses are installed on an L3 Kineto Tracking Mount. A really ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
19 votes

What is the provenance of this photo of the Great Lakes from space?

Silly question, but do you know how to validate that the citation from the site (Nimbus 7, CZCS imager, June 11 1980) is correct? I can’t find a way to get the data from NASA to check. I can't either,...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
18 votes

Have spacecraft photographed each other beyond Earth orbit?

For a case with more extreme relative motion than most of the other answers, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (polar orbit) imaged the LADEE orbiter (close to equatorial orbit) in 2014: The LADEE ...
R. Wagner's user avatar
  • 181
18 votes
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Were these Apollo 14 and 15 recovery images taken (by a Navy frogman) using an underwater camera?

The answer is on this National Geographic page about the best pictures from NASA's official photographer Bill Ingalls: If you love space, odds are you’ve admired the work of Bill Ingalls. He has been ...
Uwe's user avatar
  • 49.2k
17 votes

Why are there double shadows in this Apollo 14 magazine?

This is a double reflection of light between the LM window and the camera lens. There are no two shadows as if they are caused by two light sources. It's the same shadow captured twice in the ...
asdfex's user avatar
  • 15.1k

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