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Thursday, 16 July 2009

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You can also read the transcripts here: http://history.nasa.gov/ap11fj/02earth-orbit-tli.htm . go up a level for successive chapters of the mission.

Thank you for the image. Meaningful personally as I apparently exited the womb at just about the same moment. What a world to come in to.

Well, happy birthday G. ch

NASA also has restored video of the landing and walkabout up on its Web site:

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/hd/apollo11.html

The restoration was done by the same outfit that re-did "Casablanca" and other Hollywood movies, from second-generation video sources; apparently, the original NASA videotapes were erased.

Ooooo - link! Could you please sign me a note for my boss to explain why I'm not going to do anything meaningful in the office till Monday? Thanks!

Dear folks,

The video restorations are extremely fine, and I absolutely don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but...

... I hope the distorted aspect ratio gets corrected when we see the finished product instead of interim clips.

This is more than just an aesthetic objection; it's important to the historical record. The restored videos are going to end up being the way most people ever see those moon landings, and most people will not realize the dimensions are distorted. Consciously or unconsciously, it causes more misperception of real facts and events.

For instance, and I don't mean this at all facetiously, I can imagine someone looking at the video of the two astronauts reading the plaque and coming away from that with the belief that the helmets were ellipsoidal in shape instead of near-spherical. At which point one starts to speculate on why NASA would have designed them that way. Perhaps to accommodate oversized earphones?

Similarly, the distorted aspect ratio takes what is already a low relief in the lunar surface and flattens it even further.

These are unnecessary distortions; simple black sidebars on either side of the frame, easy to introduce in production, solve the problem. Hopefully the problem will be solved.

Lest readers think that this is a non-problem, many of the planetary scientists went through exactly this kind of confusion several years ago when they started releasing lots of color- and altitude-enhanced photographs of Venus and Mars. The point of the enhancements were to make the interesting details in the photographs clearer. The late public, entirely reasonably, thought that was actually what those places looked like! After a few years of this, the scientists quickly learned to start labeling any such photographs as having exaggerated false color or exaggerated vertical. They also make some effort to release some non-enhanced photographs at the same time.


~ pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
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-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 
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@Moose: That's extremely cool. I have to say, though, that I prefer the original. It may, in fact, be the only picture taken with a fisheye lens that I think is a great photograph. At least, I can't think of another that comes remotely close to it.

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