The next best thing to being there

By Phil Plait | September 25, 2006 11:40 pm

Since I’m on a kick lately of cool images and such…

A while back, I blogged about a site with great panoramas of the Moon.

Silly me, I should have mentioned Mike Constantine’s Moon Pans website. If you have Quicktime installed, you can sweep back and forth on images, going around 360 degrees. It’s not precisely like being there (you can, for example, do this feat in your underwear which is not recommended on the lunar surface), but it’s still pretty cool.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff, NASA, Science

Comments (14)

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  1. KU Students for Science » Art and Science | October 13, 2006
  1. If we could send a man to the moon, why can’t we make people realise how fantastic an achievement it was?

  2. Shawn S.

    That was like SOOOO 1969, dude… those suits are like SOOOO RETRO, though. Ohmigawd.

    Maybe that’s why.

    I’m still in awe of the accomplishment when I think about it. It boosts my humanist notions, too. See what we can do when we put effort into something? Of course it also shows what competition can lead to. The Space Race was probably the only reason we were able to do this at all.

    Next stop… uh… earth? Personally I like Ben Bova’s scenario of hitting the asteroid fields for resources. If I had a trillion dollars I’d start up a company that was designed to make that happen. The private sector is probably our best bet for space expansion in the future.

  3. Tom

    Look at the Apollo 11 EASEP QTVR panorama. Notice the small, red dot in the sky just left of the lunar module? I mailed Phil about it, but if anyone has any speculation, I’d be glad to hear it. I thought it might be the command module in orbit, then I thought Mars because of the red tint. Now that I think about it again, wouldn’t Mars be too faint to see? If all the stars are invisible thanks to the exposure setting, would Mars still show up?

  4. Gary Ansorge

    Shawn: A trillion dollars isn’t necessary to start the job of asteroid reclamation. Just need some imagination, some teleoperated ‘bots and about 50 billion dollars dedicated to the development of space resources. As Gerard K. O’Nielle pointed out 30 plus years ago, one of the very best reasons for settling the High Frontier was 24/7 access to solar energy. The development of High Orbit Mini Earths constructed from asteroidal materials was a secondary adjunct to the Power Sats and the power sats were ideal as a means of generating cold, hard cash to facilitate the development of the H.O.M.E.s. The economic potential of our near space environment is so large as to boggle an accountants mind. Even G. Bush would have a hard time spending the tax money that could be generated from this exploitation.

    Gary 7

  5. mocky_puppet

    there’s a “C” on one of the rocks there–fake.

  6. Mark Martin

    Tom, could you be more specific as to where you see the red dot?

  7. JerWah

    Must…Get…Image…of Bad Astronomer…in his skivies…out of my mind….AAAAARGGGGHHHHH……..AAAARGGGHHHHH

    :-)

  8. Tom

    Mark: Sure. See where the shadow of the lander almost touches the horizon, on the left? It’s above that area, about even horizontally with the middle of the base of the lander.

  9. Hi Tom, thanks for pointing out the red dot. I thought it may have been something I had mistakingly done during the Panoramic assembly process, but I just checked the original pan frame images, and the dot is on those too, and quite a few other dots too.

    http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/alsj/a11/as11-40-5930HR.jpg

    http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/alsj/a11/as11-40-5931HR.jpg

    As the dots are in different positions as the pan goes along my guess is they are just photographic anomolies, either in the development process, or duplication of the original transparencies or in the scanning of the transparencies to digital.

    Thanks
    Mike Constantine
    http://moonpans.com

  10. Hi Tom

    Thanks for pointing out the red dot! I was worried that it was a mistake I made in the panoramic assembly process. But I just checked the original pan frames, and the dot is on those too. Along with several other dots too.

    The dots change position from frame to frame, so my guess is that they are just random photographic anomolies in either the development process, or in the duplication of the original transparencies. Or perhaps in the scanning to digital

    Thanks
    Mike Constantine

  11. Rob

    Hi Phil

    Don’t apologise for all the recent blogs on great images – keep them coming. It is always fun and stimulating to come across new perspectives and stunning images.

  12. gopher65

    Wow Mike, thanks for taking the time to explain that too us:).

  13. jrkeller

    For those of you that are interested in high resolution Apollo photos should check out Kipp Teague’s Apollo Archieve,

    http://www.apolloarchive.com/apollo_gallery.html

    Moon Hoaxer Jack White should check this site.

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