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Magazine P Earthrise: Several months ago, while looking through Great Images in NASA site for my #retrorocket project I found something very striking: a series of images taken by Michael Collins from lunar orbit at roughly even intervals during Apollo 11. A series that showed, among other things, an Earthrise. A series that could be turned into a movie...

The GRIN metadata on this series is really bad, and GRIN didn't have all the frames since I guess some were less Great than others. Fortunately, each photo taken by an Apollo crew has a unique ID and they've all been put online. Most of them are on the Internet Archive, but NASA's history department has them all, including the shots that didn't turn out. ("Completely dark frame.") The photos I saw are from Magazine P, and once I knew that, I discovered that someone else had created a video of the same photos and put it on Youtube a month ago.

There went any hope that I might be the first person to see this movie since Michael Collins saw it live, but oh well. There's still work to be done: that video goes by way too fast IMO, and since the images haven't been rotated the way the GRIN images were, the Earthrise isn't as striking to human eyes. So I downloaded the pictures and used PIL and mencoder to make my own movie. Here it is on the Internet Archive.

My animation uses frames AS11-41-5971 through AS11-41-6135. It goes into slow motion for a bit when Earth shows up, since Collins took extra shots right when the Earthrise started. (I fooled around with changing the frame durations around that point, but ultimately decided to leave it alone.) To the right you can see a smaller animated GIF of the Earthrise, but in the full video that's just the most spectacular moment among a series of navigational swerves which end with the Command Module disappearing into the lunar terminator.

Bonus: here's a second, shorter video I made from most of the rest of Magazine P: AS11-41-6109 to AS11-41-6135, the "orbital lunar horizon sequence west of Mare Tranquillitatis." Gets up close to some mountains.


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