Astronaut John L. Swigert, Jr., Apollo 13 Command Module Pilot, holds the “mailbox,” a makeshift device used to purge carbon dioxide from the Lunar Module that played a significant role in saving the doomed astronauts lives. Apollo 13 Hasselblad image from film magazine.
During the course of the Apollo space program astronauts were charged with enduring unknown perils, conducting science experiments, piloting spacecraft, walking on the surface of the moon, and comprehending sights, sounds, and physical stresses never before experienced by humans. All the while, they were also asked to snap a couple thousands photographs of practically every moment with a modified Hasselblad camera.
Last Friday, for the first time ever, NASA uploaded the entire catalogue of 8,400 Apollo mission photos to Flickr spanning Apollo 7 (the first manned test flight in 1968) through Apollo 17, the final lunar mission in 1972. The effort to bring the photos online was lead by Kipp Teague of the Project Apollo Archive who first began scanning camera film magazines on behalf of the Johnson Space Center in 2004.
While we’re all used to seeing the more iconic photos like Blue Marble, the Apollo 11 bootprint, or this image of Buzz Aldrin, this random assortment of mundane moments and blurry horizons seems to highlight the humanity of the entire endeavor. Collected here are a few of our favorite shots, and you can see thousands more organized by mission on Flickr. Digg and PetaPixel also have collections of their favorites.
Taiwanese design firm Acorn Studio recently announced a new lighting system that mimics the color and shape of a moon. Luna is a dimmable halogen light housed inside a glass fiber and non-toxic latex housing that comes in 7 different sizes ranging from 3.2″ to 23.6″ in diameter. Learn more over on Indiegogo. (via Laughing Squid, The Awesomer)
A Finnish photographer who goes by the name of Janne recently perfected a technique for shooting a “moon trail,” similar to long exposures you’ve probably seen of stars in the night sky. The photograph required over 37 minutes to shoot as the moon made its way slowly across the landscape. Michael Zhang from PetaPixel explains a bit of the technical details:
Janne was shooting with a Nikon D800 and 100-300mm lens at 300mm, f/8, and ISO 100. The trick behind the shot was a 10-stop neutral density filter, which greatly cut down the amount of light hitting the sensor and allowed Janne to shoot a 2258-second exposure.
You can see the moon trail a bit larger here, and see more of Janne’s photos from around Finland on Flickr. (via PetaPixel)
While standing in her backyard garden this morning around 9:20am in Leicestershire, UK, photographer Amy Shore snapped away at a perfectly clear view of a total solar eclipse with her Nikon D600. What she didn’t know until after the fact was that a lone bird was crossing the viewfinder at just the right moment. Via email Shore mentions that as a full-time photographer she normally shoots weddings, and the split-second decision to take this shot was a happy accident. It’s not immediately clear if there happened to be a weasel riding on the bird.
This eclipse was the first viewable over the UK in the social media age and photos, videos, and accounts like this have spread everywhere since this morning. The Guardian in particular had fantastic minute-to-minute coverage.
Update: Photographer Andrew Brooks got a similar shot in Manchester.
New Moon is an interactive shadow and light sculpture from artists Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett (previously) that was installed twice in Lexington, Kentucky back in February of last year. Built from 5,500 burnt out incandescent bulbs donated by the community, the sculpture allows viewers to manipulate phases of the moon using a large turnstyle. The piece is the fourth in a series of installations using re-appropriated light bulbs, more of which you can explore on their website.
Inspired by the pockmarked surface of the moon, Russian designer Constantin Bolimond developed this fun concept for a ceramic desktop lamp covered with corked “craters.” The intensity of the Armstrong Light Trap can be adjusted by opening or closing individual craters to reaveal the LED light inside. You can see more over on his Behance portfolio. (via Design Milk)
In his ongoing series of photos titled Moon Games, French photographer Laurent Lavender has subjects play with a rising moon, effectively tansforming it into a balloon, a painting, and even a scoop of ice cream. The dreamlike photos have been turned into a calendar and a (French-only) book of poetry as well as a few other objects. You can see more of his work over on Facebook. (via IFLScience)