Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2001 March 10
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

Apollo / Surveyor Stereo View
Credit: Apollo 12, NASA; Stereo Image by Patrick Vantuyne

Explanation: Put on your red/blue glasses and gaze into this dramatic stereo view from the surface of the Moon! Inspired by last Saturday's APOD, experimentor Patrick Vantuyne offers this stereo rendering of Apollo 12 astronaut Pete Conrad visiting the Surveyor 3 spacecraft in November of 1969. To create the stereo image, Vantuyne carefully combed through the pictures available for downloading from the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal web site to find two which would make an appropriate "stereo pair". He found a pair that depicted the captivating scene from only slightly different viewpoints, approximating the separation between human eyes. Combining the two separate pictures, one tinted red and the other blue-green, with the correct offset, produces the stereo effect when viewed using red/blue glasses, the red filter covering the left eye. The color filters guide each eye to see only the picture with the correct corresponding viewpoint and the brain interprets the result as normal stereo vision. (Editor's note: While you've got those glasses on ... other web sources of astronomy and space science stereo images include the Mars Path Finder archive and a 3D Tour of the Solar System.)

Tomorrow's picture: A Young Globular Cluster

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.