SPOT THE DIFFERENCE: APOLLO 14 LANDING SITE (PART 1)

 

Apollo 14 Landing Site

 

For 2015 May we were looking at the Apollo 14 landing site, namely 17.491W-17.451W, 3.632S-3.662S, or just a tiny ~120m x ~90m of the surface. At least two differences can be spotted here and might be due to sun glint off golden heat blanket material stripped off the lunar module descent stage, when the ascent stage blasted off from the surface (For an analogy see the Apollo 15 image below). How many other differences can you spot between these two LROC overhead views of the Apollo 14 landing site?

 

m1.jpg m2.jpg

Click here for Image 1 - M111708164L - at 0.5m/pixel full res. Click here for image 2 - M127049821R - at full 0.5m/pixel res.

Image taken on: 2009 Nov 01- Incidence angle 9.87. Image taken on: 2010 Apr 27 incidence angle 9.12.

 

ap15.jpg

This shows a frame from the Apollo 15 lift off from the surface of the Moon

Note all the debris thrown out sideways over large distances from the Lunar

Module. This is golden heat blanket material, and it is possible that we are

detecting sun glint from this in the Apollo 14 landing site images above..

 

I find it useful to look for differences between images by loading them into an image processing program, e.g. Adobe Photoshop, into layers, and then blinking between layers. You may note a slight amount of image shift and this is due to stereo parallax between the two images. When you have finished please email me (atc @ aber.ac.uk) back one of the images with the locations of where you have noted changes and I will report on these in the next Newsletter of the Lunar Sections of the British Astronomical Association, and the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers. The deadline for doing this will be 15th May 2015.

 

We found about 14 differences between the images, all due to sun glint from the dispersed golden heat blanket material - the results were written up in the June 2015 BAA Lunar Section Circular and ALPO TLO Newsletters. This project is now closed.