May 29, 2020

Astronomy Video of the Week: Apollo 11 in a Minute

Earth from the Moon.

(Image credit: NASA/Apollo 11)

Wanna see something cool? Recently, NASA put its entire archive of Apollo era images – more than 10,000+ and counting – on Flickr. An amazing treasure-trove, space fans have dived in, with amazing results. There are lots of images I’d never seen before, as well. Folks have been cranking out some cool short animations too.   The good folks over at the Planetary Society put together one honorable mention: a video montage that depicts the entire Apollo 11 mission from Earth departure, to lunar ops and return in just one minute, using photographs from the mission:

You can see the gibbous Earth recede, the lunar module descend toward the surface of the Moon, as well as catch quick glimpses of Mike, Buzz and Neil. Few photos of Neil Armstrong on the lunar surface actually exist, as he was usually busy shooting images of Buzz Aldrin… hey, my Mom says that I need to get in to more of my own travel photographs, too…

This is an amazing archive to cull through, and there’s something new here even for long time space buffs. Often, some of the less than perfect shots that perhaps break the rules of photography 101 are the most compelling, and many of these images just never became iconic, though they have their own story to tell.

Heck, it’s just fascinating in this modern digital age to imagine that ‘only’ 10,000 odd images were shot over eight crewed missions to the Moon… a mission nowadays would most likely have continuous video coverage, from launch to landing. For now, we’ll just have to be satisfied with reliving Apollo again, though the photos of those who journeyed to the Moon and back.

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