This is a pretty amazing photograph, although it needs its caption to yield its meaning. It's a recent photograph taken from by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC). If you look at the larger version, you can see the descent stages of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module, Eagle, still sitting on the surface of the moon. It's the tiny whitish speck in the middle of the picture casting the long, skinny, non-crater-like shadow. It's been there since 1969.
For those of you who prefer more earthbound adventure, check out the nifty GoPro Hero, an inexpensive, waterproof, miniature still and video camera with a wide-angle lens intended to attach to helmets, surfboards, cars and offroad vehicles, your wrist, your chest, radio-controlled vehicles, or pretty much anywhere else you can think of to stick one. The company's website is a lot of fun to browse around in, and here's where you can buy one (as you can see, it's not exactly going to break your bank—although note that the price at the link is just for the camera and the housing; you buy the attachment accessories separately, based on what you need).
What do you say, should I attach one to my forehead on my next trip to the doggie park? I think the suction cup attachment might work for that.
(Thanks to Tim Bradshaw and Carl Leonardi)
Featured Comment by David A. Goldfarb: "This is not a camera you attach to your forehead on your next trip to the doggie park. This is a camera to attach to your doggie's forehead on your next trip to the doggie park."
Featured Comment by Ctein: "I suspect most people don't realize how far removed the Apollo photos they remember are from the originals. The original chromes never left the NASA vaults. A very few institutions, including the Smithsonian, got first-generation 'master' dupes. A few very elite publications got second-gen dupes. Most publications got third- or even fourth-gen dupes.
"Add in another generation for the printed reproduction and you're typically 4 or 5 generations away from the originals.
"How big a difference did that make? I've been lucky enough to see some of the Apollo chromes in the Smithsonian archives. The difference between those and what typically appeared in a good publication is like the difference between printing a negative on Grade 2 paper and Grade 4. Not to mention the color and saturation distortions commensurate with that.
"Two books are noteworthy: Orbit: NASA Astronauts Photograph the Earth by Jay Apt, Michael Helfert, and Justin Wilkinson, and Full Moon by Michael Light. The photos for Orbit were scanned from original flight film ('zero generation' original, first generation reproduction) and color/tone corrected by Roger Ressmeyer. (Ressmeyer had a scanner station built onsite, so film never had to leave the storage facility.)
"Michael Light was not quite so blessed; he had to work off of first-generation 'master' dupes. Perceptive viewers will see artifacts, e.g., some small amount of dark haloing around the blackest shadows, which are evidence of slight degradation in the duping process. His results are still remarkable and gorgeous.
"Those who want some sense of what the photos really looked like owe it to themselves to own these books.
"Digital imaging has been a true blessing to space photography; no longer do we public have to suffer with distorted and degraded n-generation offspring."
Featured Comment by David A. Goldfarb: "This is not a camera to attach to your forehead on your next tript to the doggie park. This is a camera to attach to your doggie's forehead on your next trip to the doggie park."
Featured Comment by Rod S.: "I really enjoyed the heads-up on the new LRO photography, Mike. Hey, the Apollo 14 picture is particularly fun: the astronaut's walking trail leading over to the ALSEP jumped out at me even before I'd scrolled to the enlargement.
"I'll second Ctein's recommendation of Full Moon. Michael Light sifted through NASA's collection to find those that struck him as a photographer, steering away from the most commonly seen photographs. Most of the B&W photographs were shot for geological control but most of those he selected are stunning. The first time I turned the pages of the book, I cried, because it took me to those valleys and mountains in a way I had not previously experienced.
"In a discussion with Michael Light at the opening of his exhibition in Sydney, I had remarked about the several copies of the book that I'd seen which included flattened lumps of white clay within the pages. Michael explained that the clay was used during production (by Amilcare Pizzi, in Milan) to address the problem of pages sticking together due to the unusually large amount of black ink used in the printing (for the lunar skies). On the issue of duplicates, Michael told me that he was able to use a fresh new set of 'master' duplicates which NASA had fortuitously prepared shortly before he made his request, so he did have good fortune there."