A lunar view of Earth taken with the astronomy camera

Space Mission
Apollo 16, 16-27 April 1972

John Young

Photo Description
Vintage gelatin silver print on fire-based paper, 20.3 x 25.4cm (8 x 10in), with NASA caption numbered 72- H-569 on verso (NASA Headquarters)

A very rare far-ultraviolet photograph of the Earth from the lunar surface taken with the UV astronomy camera. Photograph taken by Apollo 16 camera shows the spectrum of the upper atmosphere of Earth and geocorona. The bright horizontal line is far ultra-violet emission (1216 angstrom) of hydrogen extending 10 degrees (40,000 miles) either side of Earth. The knobby vertical line shows several ultraviolet emissions from Earth’s sunlit atmosphere, each ‘lump’ being produced by one type gas (oxygen, nitrogen, helium, etc.). The spectral dispersion is about 10 angstrom per millimeter on this enlargement. The UV camera/ spectrograph was operated on the lunar surface by John Young. It was designed and built at the Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C