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Calling Jamespolk and other smrt people:

This shit just looks impossible to me. Maybe it's the angle or the lens or whatever but that looks fake as hell. Is it April fools or something? I guess what I'm saying is that the earth just looks WAY too big from that vantage.



Here's what I'm saying: Here's another image of the earth from the ISS from the ESA website - http://www.esa.int/images/ISS005E15900400.jpg


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 16th, 2006 01:59 pm (UTC)
I don't know for sure, but if from up close the angular size of the earth compared to the space station and astronaut is small you can get get such an effect by moving farther away and using a zoom lens.

This works because angular size is a function of relative distance.

As an example, put a quarter six inches in front of your face, in between your eye and the moon. The quarter will cover the moon, it will have an angular size bigger than that of the moon.

Now, somehow leave that quarter suspended in the air in a straight line between you and the moon and then take fifteen steps backwards. The relative distance between you and the moon has hardly changed (about 0.000000005% farther away) and so the moon will look exactly the same size as it did before you moved. You are, however, 3000% farther away from the quarter than you were and the angular size of it will have drastically reduced. From 15 feet away the quarter will now look much smaller than the moon.

Now from where you're standing use a good zoom lens so that quarter fills most of the frame and in the resulting picture the moon will look monstrously huge. As a practical example of this, if you can picture it, at the end of Joe vs. the Volcano the movie has a shot of Tom Hanks stranded at sea on a raft. At one point he is shown relatively close up, in sillhouette against the moon. That is how they did it.

So, I don't know if the photos you linked to have an impossibly large earth as backdrop but if so, that is how I'd expect it was done. And it would work even better in space since you wouldn't have the atmospheric distortions of using a long zoom.
Dec. 16th, 2006 06:20 pm (UTC)
Well, see, they're ~220 miles above Earth, that's about the distance from Santa Rosa to North Lake Tahoe. Now imagine looking toward Lake Tahoe, only Tahoe was ~25,000 miles around. It'd look pretty dang big, wouldn't it?

Also, what jamespolk said.
Dec. 20th, 2006 06:54 pm (UTC)
I don't know about any of that, but I do know that in the cosmic calendar, the earth has only been here for a few minutes, while the universe has been around for billions and billions of years.


That is my contribution to the master, Carl Sagan.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )