That's no moon! Or maybe.
October 20, 2014 7:48 AM   Subscribe

Saw a framed photo thing yesterday, very curious as to what I'm looking at. Shitty pic of the whole thing here, closeups inside.

I went and saw some buildings yesterday during Open House Chicago, and this was on the wall of an otherwise bland office floor. I think it's the moon probably? But what are the numbers? At first we thought they were dates, but obviously they can't be. Unless future? Whoa. What's the context here? There was no label or anything other than what I've taken a picture of.

Anyway, we'd love to know what this is, when the pictures were taken, why the photos are arranged like that, etc.

Full pic, enjoy the silhouette of my head.

Closeup one.
Closeup two.

I also have pictures of a plant I saw yesterday that I would like you to identify please but have to wait A WHOLE WEEK. Tune in next Monday for the continuing adventures of I Saw A Thing.
posted by phunniemee to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It is the moon, and the numbers are reference points. These let you both put the pictures in the right order and indicate which image/area to examine/reference when speaking of something there.

For example, the edge of the rock on the right edge of 14-13-28 might be more clear on the image 14-11-52.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 7:52 AM on October 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you go to this link on page 11 (PDF page, 6 in the doc), it talks about it in greater detail (the process). Source for that page.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 7:59 AM on October 20, 2014

I think this is from Surveyor I, a lander not an orbiter. You can read the Surveyor I mission report. Part III - Television data, which has many similar mosaics. My hunch that it's Surveyor I and not the subsequent missions is because of the "Day 158" label; only Surveyor I has images labeled with similar values, the subsequent missions have day numbers in the 200's or 300's. I can't find the specific image in the mission report though.

The mosaic pattern is a result of the weird way the camera slewed in this spacecraft (the elevation and azimuth drives were not quite perpendicular to the surface, it appears). They go over it in detail in the various mission reports. The numbers presumably refer to various pointing positions the camera can have, but I haven't been able to track down the specific values on the pictures.
posted by kiltedtaco at 10:16 AM on October 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

In the mission report link, I think page 338 (357 in the document viewer) has the same scene as the image you found. The rocks in the upper right appear very similar. I'm pretty sure this is Surveyor I now.

That's a pretty neat piece.
posted by kiltedtaco at 10:27 AM on October 20, 2014

Thank you, kiltedtaco. I couldn't remember the name of the Surveyor series!
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 10:28 AM on October 20, 2014

I think this is from Surveyor I, a lander not an orbiter

Absolutely correct. "Day 158" refers to the day of the year, which was Jun 5th, 1966, and Surveyor 1 landed on Jun 2nd, 1966. The first photos taken are listed as Day 153 (June 2nd) and the last listed were on day 194 (July 13th, 1966)

Other missions show days in the 200s and 300s because they were later in the year. Surveyor 3's range was in contact Day 107-123 (in 1967), Surveyor 5 was 251-351, Surveyor 6 was Day 312-348, and Surveyor 7 was Day 007-080 (In 1968).

Surveyors 2 and 4 lithobraked and stopped sending data immediately afterwards.

In the mission report link, I think page 338 (357 in the document viewer) has the same scene as the image you found.

Not quite the same, but an earlier page has a similar image taken on day 158. It was obviously part of a site survey -- not that "Survey B" would give you a clue about that, or that this was probably the second site survey.

Neato find.
posted by eriko at 12:45 PM on October 20, 2014

Very cool, guys! Thank you!
posted by phunniemee at 1:45 PM on October 20, 2014

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