Can anyone explain why the Moon looks so small and dark in photos taken from cislunar space during the Apollo 12 mission? AS12-53-7887 found at https://www.lpi.usra.edu/resources/apollo/frame/?AS12-53-7887

Moon during transearth

The image was taken with the 70mm Hasselblad and 80mm lens using a fast film. The photo index can be found here: https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a12/a12.photidx.pdf

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    $\begingroup$ What you need to know is how far from the Moon was the photo taken. From Earth with an 80 mm lens, the Moon's image would be 0.7 mm (0.03 inch) on the original negative. That's small and implies they were far from the Moon! What you need to know for the brightness is the exposure time and f-stop. Any photo can be made dark. I do not see any of those three unknowns in the document. (Assuming the eclipse photos were taken at about the same time, the relative diameters of the Earth and Moon will give a good clue as to where they were between the Earth and Moon.) $\endgroup$
    – JohnHoltz
    Nov 12, 2019 at 23:22
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks John. Yes, too many unknowns, and throw in the film processing too I guess. $\endgroup$
    – Solon
    Nov 16, 2019 at 20:30


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