- Aug 26, 2005
- Reaction score
Also bullshit. I have analysed these photos myself, using methods employed by astronomers and by considering 3D model illumination concepts that were undreamt of when these photos were taken, and the originals all stand up very well.Without any applying any interventional defences of it being a unique setting, or an unprecidented context, a significant proportion of lunar mission imagery really does look very unrealistic. And that's even before applying any level of technical analysis.
Consider this image once again, for example.
What are the sources of light in this photo? Obviously the Sun, which is almost directly ahead, but which is not shining directly into the Hasselblad lens because of the lens hood. The LM is illuminated by ambient light, reflected from the lunar surface with a reflectivity of approximately 17%; this light would be enough to show much of the detail in this image, but there are three other sources of illumination that add to the effect.
1/ The Moon's surface is non-Lambertian, so it displays a so-called opposition effect. Light is reflected back from the anti-solar point with an increased brightness, which augments the reflected luminance by as much as 20%.
2/ The lunar surface is also liberally sprinkled with spherical glass balls, created by meteor impact over billions of years. This adds a small but significant amount of internally-reflected light to the image which would shine directly onto the lander at this angle.
3/ The astronauts took with them a brilliant white object that was also reflecting light towards the lander in this image; this object had a reflectance of roughly 80-90%, and was exactly behind the camera. What was this mystery object? The photographer's spacesuit. (Either Young or Duke, possibly both, were behind the camera when this image was taken).
Many moons ago, not that many years after these landings, I wrote a dissertation on the concept of albedo, mostly because the word sounded funny; I rarely get the opportunity to use that field of study in an analytical fashion, but it is all still there. Don't imagine for a moment that I am being 'unanalytical' when I look at these photos. Quite the opposite.