Apollo imageIn the 1970’s the various Apollo missions took a number of highly detailed photographs of the moon which have been seen only by a handful of scientist. For three decades these photographs have been preserved in a freezer, but now Arizona State is making these images available through the web.

The photographs are being scanned at a 14 bit resolution, meaning that digital versions of the these black and white images have about 16,000 shades of gray, there are also a few highly detailed color images. The high resolution will allow for maximum conservation of detail, and accurate geometric fidelity.

NASA expects to gather many more images of the moon with their 2008 lunar reconnaissance mission. You can see some of the Apollo images at The Project Apollo Image Gallery (although they aren’t very well labeled); or try Google Moon.

You can read an article on the subject from the BBC here.

Image from The Apollo Image Gallery.