View Full Version : Apollo 17 Moon Negatives anyone?

2007-Mar-02, 12:01 AM
Hi everyone, I got refered to this forum by a friend in the hopes you guys can help me...

I accidentally found an auction on ebay of this guy selling allegedly original negatives from the Apollo 17 mission. Panoramic shots, 6ft wide by 9 inches. I was gullible enough to buy three of them and I wonder if there's any way to authenticate those... not that I think they are fake, it just seemed to me that this kind of memorabilia would be worth more than the $75 he was asking for it...

The same guy also happen to be selling a McDonnell Douglas "Star Wars " Satellite (SDI), what helped me belive the negatives are real...

Here's the link for the auction (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=250087609859&ssPageName=STRK:MEWN:IT&ih=015)

Auction for the Star Wars satellite (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250087482292&ssPageName=MERC_VIC_RCRX_Pr2_PcY_BID_IT&refitem=250087609859&itemcount=2&refwidgetloc=closed_view_item&usedrule1=CrossSell_LogicX&refwidgettype=cross_promot_widget)

2007-Mar-05, 10:01 PM
Hi Limbo.

I posted a note on the ApolloHoax forum in the hope that somebody there might know something, but so far there are no replies here or there.

It's not something I know much about and I didn't know the negatives were so big. I'm keen to know how they came to be up for sale and whether they are copies or originals. Were you supplied with anything about exactly which part of the moon is shown in your purchases? You may be able to compare them with moon maps.

There's a bit about how the panorama photos and mapping camera photos were taken during the Apollo 15 mission in National Geographic, Vol. 141, No. 2, February 1972, pages 248 and 249: "By photographing the same 210-mile-wide swath from successive positions, a stereoscopic view is obtained."

You might find some experts who can help at the collectSPACE Forum, where there is interest in collectables:

2007-Mar-06, 06:01 AM
Kiwi, thank you for the help and tips. Here is what I find out after a weekend of research:

Apparently what the guy was selling is a set of rectified panoramics from the Apollo 17 that had been corrected for camera distortions and spacecraft motion and reproduced onto 229- x 1829-mm (9- x 80-in.) film. So, while those haven't actually been to the moon, they are original Nasa material used to correct and extract useful information from the original negatives that were overexposed in the highlight areas because of a malfuncion.

Now to the evidence...

Here is a couple of picture of the negatives I received (I hanged them against a fabric curtain using natural sunlight from my french doors, so it has a fabric texture on it.)


The negatives are numbered 2868, 2869 and 2870

Here's the link for the auction where I purchased the film. It got some pictures of the film canister and labels that look legit...


Here are a couple of Nasa links confirming the story mentioned above:


I also found developed images of those negatives on the Lunar and Planetary Institute Archieve. They seem to match the images of my negatives:


And lastly, as the icing on the cake, the same guy also happen to be selling a McDonnell Douglas "Star Wars " Satellite (SDI), what kind of helped me belive the negatives are real...

Auction for the Star Wars satellite:

So this is what I got... I would appreciate if somebody in-the-know could give me any lead or information that would help to either authenticate those negatives, or at least clarify what are they and how they came to be.

Thanks in advance!

2007-Mar-06, 12:01 PM
Here is a couple of picture of the negatives ...
The negatives are numbered 2868, 2869 and 2870

Which numbers belong to the top and bottom two? (Edited to add: It's okay, I've found out. See next post.)

The middle strip (2870) and bottom strip include the same bit of lunar surface, as I would expect from the National Geographic article. I tried to view them as a stereo pair, but didn't have much luck on my screen. However, you may be able to do it with the actual negatives, or prints from them, and see part of the scene in 3D.

They are interesting when changed to a positive image and it would be good to identify the exact area of the moon in the negatives.

I don't recognise any of the lunar surface, but if the bottom strip was taken first and 2870 next, they are most likely on the back of the moon because the shadows are at the top -- the spacecraft would be orbiting toward the sun on the back of the moon.

The top strip seems to be a bit of an oddball, appearing to be a view of the horizon instead of the area below the command module, but in positive it looks like it might be a view of a mare, so perhaps not the back of the moon.

I'd suggest you post your photos at collectSPACE because some very knowledgeable people hang out there -- at least one worked on the Apollo project.

2007-Mar-06, 01:33 PM
Aha, I should have checked your LPI links before posting. They sort out which photo is which and give their locations. No photos showed in my browser, but I was able to save them for viewing.

The area in the photos is shown in Atlas of the Moon, Antonin Rukl, Hamlyn, London, 1990, page 185, in the map Libration Zone IV.

7.4° S / 97.9° E
The view is from 113 km above the lunar surface. The largest crater, one-third of the way from left, is 43 km diameter Hanskiy or Ganskiy, at 9.7° S / 97.0° E. At top centre is 23km diameter Ludwig, a fairly flat crater with two small ones inside, one forming a sort of tail to the other, at 7.7° S / 97.4° E. Being at 97° east, they are just over the east limb of the moon as viewed from earth and the area is viewable very obliquely during the right lunar libration.

4.9° S / 91.4° E
The dark area at top centre is Mare Smythii. Just left of centre is a snowman feature formed by two craters. The body is Hirayama S and to its right, with small mountains in its centre, is Hirayama Y. Both are inside the 139 km diameter crater Hirayama. To the right of Hirayama Y is 48 km diameter Purkyne, 1.6° S / 94.9° E. To the left of the snowman is Hirayama O and then to its left is deeper Brunner, 53 km diameter, with a rough interior, at 9.9° S / 90.9° E.

7.1° S / 97.2° E
Similar to AS17-P-2868.

2007-Mar-06, 03:39 PM
Awesome info Kiwi, thanks for all your help! I posted a thread on collectspace (http://collectspace.com/ubb/Forum27/HTML/001595.html)regarding this matter. Hopefully somebody in-the-know can help clarify what those things are they and how it end up for sale on ebay...