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Apollo Imagery
Lunar eclipse
high res (0.8 M) low res (80 K)
S71-58222 (31 July-2 Aug. 1971) --- During the lunar eclipse that occurred during the Apollo 15 lunar landing mission, astronaut Alfred M. Worden, command module pilot, used a 35mm Nikon camera to obtain a series of 15 photographs while the moon was entering and exiting Earth's umbra. Although it might seem that there should be no light on the moon when it is in Earth's shadow, sunlight is scattered into this region by Earth's atmosphere. This task was an attempt to measure by photographic photometry the amount of scattered light reaching the moon. The four views from upper left to lower right were selected to show the moon as it entered Earth's umbra. The first is a four-second exposure which was taken at the moment when the moon had just entered umbra; the second is a 15-second exposure taken two minutes after entry; the third, a 30-second exposure three minutes after entry; and the fourth is a 60-second exposure four minutes after entry. In all cases the light reaching the moon was so bright on the very high speed film (Eastman Kodak type 2485 emulsion) that the halation obscures the lunar image, which should be about one-third as big as the circle of light. The background star field is clearly evident, and this is very important for these studies. The spacecraft was in full sunlight when these photographs were taken, and it was pointed almost directly away from the sun so that the windows and a close-in portion of the camera's line-of-sight were in shadow. The environment around the vehicle at this time appears to be very "clean" with no light scattering particles noticeable.

Curator: JSC PAO Web Team | Responsible NASA Official: Amiko Kauderer | Updated: 11/01/2012
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