Apollo Image Archive Banner Image
Project Home About the Scans Browse Gallery Image Map Support Data Resources Ephemeris

Featured Image - 09/20/10
Which of the following is not an Apollo Metric Image?

Answer: None, since they are all Apollo Metric images! When all of the Metric frames are eventually released on this site, it is worth keeping in mind that not all of the images are of the Moon and may have anomalies or artifacts.

For starters, the Metric images were shot on a continuous roll of film, similar to that found in a 35mm camera. Once in a while the film would break apart as it was being handled back on Earth, after the mission and had to be physically taped back together to keep the roll intact, as seen in Figure 1A. See Figure 1 in the About the Scans page to see a more detailed layout of the Metric camera system.

A bright, lightning-like feature is found on a small number of images -this type of blemish is the result of a spark caused by static discharge. As the film moves through the camera system, static charge is built up, and when discharged an image of the spark is captured by the film. These features typically originate at the edge of the image and branch inward. For more information, see the About the Scans page.

Some of the hardware that was on the service module bay can be seen in Metric images as well. The two most common are the cover for the Metric camera and Laser Altimeter, and the Gamma Ray Spectrometer and boom. A schematic drawing of the SIM bay for the Apollo 15 and 16 missions is shown in Figure 2.

In images like that seen in Figure 1C, the camera was not completely extended and as a result the protective cover was still in view of the camera. The second piece of hardware, the Gamma Ray Spectrometer (GRS), is also seen in the image during different stages of deployment. In Figure 2, the GRS is depicted as being partially deployed and appears fully deployed in Figure 1D.

The camera also continued to image while the protective cover was on (i.e. while returning to Earth) and as a result, images that are the equivalent of the "lens cap" being left on are taken as seen in Figure 1E.

Apollo Metric image (See caption for image ids).

 Figure 1. Collection of Apollo Metric images with something interesting in each one that is not necessarily related to the Moon itself. The frames shown are: A) AS17-M-2198, B) AS17-M-1382, C) AS15-M-1443, D) AS16-M-2521 and E) AS16-M-3458. (Apollo Images AS16-M-3458, AS17-M-2198, AS15-M-1443, AS16-M-2521, AS17-M-1382 [NASA/JSC/Arizona State University])

Sim bay for Apollo 15 and 16.

 Figure 2. Schematic drawing of the Apollo 15 service module sim bay. Note the protective cover seen just below the Mapping Camera and Laser Altimeter. (http://history.nasa.gov/afj)

submit to reddit

Johnson Space Center Space Exploration Resources Arizona State University, School of Earth and Space Explroation Lunar and Planetary Institue LPI

Comments and suggestions can be mailed to webmaster@ser.asu.edu