GCTA-TV/Hasselblad comparative analysis - "Cernan Shoots The Earth" - Apollo 17 lunar surface EVA2 @ "Nansen"

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GCTA-TV/Hasselblad comparative analysis - "Cernan Shoots The Earth" - Apollo 17 lunar surface EVA2 @ "Nansen"

Post  Admin on Sun May 22, 2011 4:32 pm

LunaCognita wrote:Hey gang,
This is a short video I put together to highlight a scene from the Apollo 17 mission that has bothered me for awhile now. The goal here with this particular presentation was to try to allow for a very basic comparative analysis between some raw GCTA-TV footage and a pair of 70mm Hasselblad still frames claimed to have been shot at the same time. The incident in question we will be looking at here took place during the Apollo 17 mission while Cernan and Schmidt were conducting their second of three EVAs. The pair of astronauts were at Traverse Station Stop #2 @ the crater known as "Nansen", located right at the base of the South Massif (MET 143:08:05)

In the short clip of GCTA-TV footage I show here, we are apparently seeing CDR Gene Cernan in the background behind the LRV, where he was in the process of taking a pair of photographs with his 70mm Hasselblad camera. As you see in the TV footage, Cernan was standing to the south of the LRV at this time, and due to the declared orientation of the rover at the time, which at Nansen was parked at a heading of 045 degrees off-the-nose, the GCTA-TV camera (mounted to the front of the LRV) was forced to look backwards over/through the rear tailgate area of the rover in order to see the Commander in the background. We also briefly see LMP Jack Schmidt stick his nose into the FOV on the far left in this short clip, but you can just ignore him here - although before you ignore him, you may want to first appreciate the "quindar tone" you hear blatantly detecting Schmidt's entry into the FOV though. That detection is part of the "Discrete Recognition or Rejection" editing system I have mentioned before (but somewhat off-topic here).

Keep your eyes on CDR Cernan in the background of this clip, and you will see him actually torquing his upper body back hard here, arching his back so that his chest-mounted Hasselblad camera is no longer naturally aligned with the level horizon, but rather the principal point of the camera at the time of both exposures instead has the Hasselblad pointed at nearly a 45-degree up angle in order to allow Cernan's pair of photos to include the top of the large boulder directly in front of him (known as "Boulder #2 from Station 2"), the slope and top of the South Massif (which rises some 2.3 kilometers above the valley floor), and the half-illuminated Earth hanging in the sky high above (located some 20 degrees above the top of the South Massif from this particular declared viewing position @ Nansen).

Before going any further, here is the brief video I did to help us examine this evidence a bit better. I have this particular video set up as "unlisted" on my Youtube account, so it is not visible/viewable in my public Youtube channel, and I think that means you can only access it using this link.

The two photos Cernan is said to be seen exposing here in the GCTA-TV footage are officially cataloged as frames AS17-137-20910 and 20911. Here are the pair of photographs below. Both frames show the upper portion of "Boulder#2" directly in front of Cernan, the upper slope and top of the South Massif behind that, and the good ol' Mother Earth above.



In addition to showing frames 20910 and 20911 in their raw format as we see above, in the video presentation I also show the pair of images overlaid in three different alignment configurations for comparative analysis purposes. Each of those examples was constructed using a different common stationary mounting point that was visible in both frames. I used the raw version of frame 20910 as the "alpha" (reference) frame for all three composite/overlay examples, and just floated frame 20911 over top, rotating and aligning off the common mounting point. The first example I show uses the highest protuberance visible on the very top of "Boulder#2" as the alignment feature. The second example mounts the frames using the Earth as the common feature, and the third example aligns and mounts off the very top of the South Massif. These examples allow us to better visualize the perspective shifts of the various features in relation to one another as we bounce back and forth between the two frames.

I personally do not believe that the GCTA-TV footage is showing us the true raw scene looking south at Nansen crater. I also do not believe that the two Hasselblad still frames are giving us an accurate rendering of what the view really was from that location on the Moon either. There may be elements of the real scene visible within the FOV there, but I think both the still imagery and TV footage have been manipulated heavily prior to the public ever getting to lay their eyes on it, and therefore we are not seeing anything close to the "real deal" here. I do not believe that is actually CDR Gene Cernan in the background of the GCTA-TV footage supposedly showing him as he goes about exposing Hasselblad frames AS17-137-20910 and 20911 either. I don't think that person is an "astronaut" - he is an "actor-not" - and is being filmed on a special set/stage here on Earth and is merely "going through the motions" of the script, pretending to expose those two frames of film with his Hasselblad in order to account for them in the image archives.

I can go into a bit more depth on why I firmly believe this to be the case, but I have been staring at this monitor too long and need a break before that migraine headache I can feel brewing decides to boil over, so I will just post this up now and we can continue discussing it further down-thread. I would certainly like to hear any thoughts or impressions you all have on the comparison, because I do not think this scene of GCTA-TV footage is really showing us what NASA claims it is showing us in the Hassey stills.


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Re: GCTA-TV/Hasselblad comparative analysis - "Cernan Shoots The Earth" - Apollo 17 lunar surface EVA2 @ "Nansen"

Post  Admin on Sun May 22, 2011 4:34 pm

LunaCognita wrote:

Good! I think there is something wrong with 'em too, so I am glad it is not just me who is troubled by it! Very Happy In that small KSC version of frame 20911 you posted, notice how that one is cropped? I think it is fair to say that about 1/4 of that low-res frame has been cropped out and is missing entirely there, wouldn't you say?

Just for further reference, here are the two NASA/LPI archive versions (low res only of course!).

And here are two spikes of the ALSJ archive versions - just simple color replacement enhancements showing that the sky region here has been essentially "hard blacked", particularly in 20910. However, check out the extreme far left of frame 20911, just above the horizon. The Color Replacement reveals another thin line breaching into the FOV - just like we were talking about in that thread Sander started about similar markings he found in a DAC archive clip.

AS17-137-20910 - Color Replacement

AS17-137-20911 - Color Replacement

Notice how in the second of those shots (frame 20911), the very top of the big boulder in the foreground ("Boulder #2" as it was designated by NASA) has moved down in relation to the top of the South Massif in the background, and is now perfectly aligned with the upper slope of the South Massif so that no part of the boulder actually breaches the horizon into space in that frame? That perspective shift of the boulder we see between frame 20910 and 20911 is something that I can't really make sense of visually when I watch the GCTA-TV footage of Cernan supposedly shooting those two frames. I can't see how his body positioning and movement we see in the GCTA footage as he was taking those two Hassey frames can create the specific perspective shifting we see going on in 20910 and 20911.


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