February 7, 2011

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Pristine And Welcoming

image by Apollo 17, insert by artist Robert McCall, processing by Maurice Collins

Welcome to lunar space! I mentioned in a discussion yesterday how the images of the Moon reminded me of some of the paintings of space artist Robert McCall, and after looking through the lunar color images that Danny Caes listed in the wiki page I really liked this image of the pristine lunar landscape looking sunward toward the Sculptured Hills at Taurus-Littrow landing site. While similar with a sun reflection to [/February+6%2C+2011 yesterdays] image, the difference is this is unspoilt lunar landscape, as pure as untrodden new snow, with no footprints. The majority of the lunar surface looks just like this, just waiting for new explorers to kick up some moondust! The insert painting from the artist, the late Robert McCall, makes space and the Moon seem warm and invites us to come visit it. It is hard to imaging the hard vacuum and radiation that is really flooding this scene, it looks peaceful and so inviting. Robert McCall's paintings bring space to life that only some photographs can achieve. There are some small (100g) lunar samples from the last 3 missions that were sealed in a small vacuum containers on the Moon that have still not been opened. At the moment there is a call for studies of those samples to see whether now is the right time to open them, or if they should await more advances in technology and scientific questions of the future. They may represent some pristine lunar material if the seals have held, from surface layers like in the image above. I wonder what mysteries they can answer?

Maurice Collins

Technical Details
AS17-147-22507 from Danny's list of colored regions of the lunar surface http://the-moon.wikispaces.com/Colored+Regions+-+Part+3
Related Links
Robert McCall's Gallery
Rükl plate 25