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Historical first photo of space
Member 267
post Jul 23 2011, 11:21 PM
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Does anyone know what is regarded as the first photograph
that is space related; the moon, a planet, a star field or whatever
it may be and if it can be viewed online someplace?

Google was not my friend here.
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ElkGroveDan
post Jul 23 2011, 11:28 PM
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I'm going to guess that based on the very low sensitivity of film in the earliest days, it's probably the moon, ore else an inadvertent capture of Venus in the background of an image.

Google really is your friend,

THE FIRST PHOTO OF THE MOON, 1839


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Member 267
post Jul 23 2011, 11:38 PM
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Thanks smile.gif , it is clearer than anticipated.
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nprev
post Jul 24 2011, 01:04 AM
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Dan, thanks! AMAZING photo in so many ways.

Interesting to think of the interpretation of the surface features in that era...makes you wonder what false assumptions WE may apply to more recent imagery of far lesser-understood places.

(Titan above all springs to mind; still don't think we're even close to understanding what the hell is going on down there, and that's a good sign that we're going to learn a lot...)


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tasp
post Jul 24 2011, 04:57 AM
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Not belittling the skill involved in taking the image but I think the sensitivity of the 'film' was perhaps less important than we might suppose. The moon was, after all, directly illuminated by 100% sunlight. Whatever chemistry they used for landscape portraiture would have been sufficient for a 'moon shot'.

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ElkGroveDan
post Jul 24 2011, 05:22 AM
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No one at any point in this discussion indicated it would have been difficult to photograph the moon with the earliest films. My comment about the film's sensitivity was made to rule out objects OTHER THAN the Moon and Venus as the earliest astro-photography target. I can't imagine how I might have worded it to be more clear.


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PFK
post Jul 24 2011, 01:50 PM
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This site lists some firsts for the son of John Draper (who took the moon photo)
http://www.saburchill.com/HOS/astronomy/033.html
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tedstryk
post Jul 26 2011, 12:55 AM
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QUOTE (tasp @ Jul 24 2011, 05:57 AM) *
Not belittling the skill involved in taking the image but I think the sensitivity of the 'film' was perhaps less important than we might suppose. The moon was, after all, directly illuminated by 100% sunlight. Whatever chemistry they used for landscape portraiture would have been sufficient for a 'moon shot'.


The exposure time (thank you again, Google) was a whopping 20 minutes.


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NGC3314
post Jul 27 2011, 04:36 PM
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This timeline shows the earliest star photographs in 1857 (Mizar and Alcor from the Harvard refractor). The next year saw the first successful comet photograph (the amazingly spectacular Donati). The Orion nebula was registered in 1880, and after that things really took off. (I've used photographs from as far back as 1895 to look for variability of quasars in the fields of galaxies, repeating the exposure using the same telescope, modern emulsions, and filters to approximate the spectral response of old blue-sensitive emulsion plus a silver-on-glass primary mirror).
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tedstryk
post Jul 28 2011, 12:31 AM
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Interesting, although it has some serious errors. Holden, working for Pickering, as an example, photographed Mars at Lick Observatory from 1888-1892. Pickering was not involved at all in actually taking the images, although he claimed credit in several publications. And Pic du Midi had nothing to do with it.

I did a blog entry on the set some time ago


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