Details
647 a
Harrison Schmitt

Lunarscape towards the South Massif seen from the rim of Shorty Crater, station 4

Apollo 17, December 7-19, 1972, EVA 2, 145:26:02 GET

Unreleased photograph, vintage gelatin silver print on fiber-based paper, 19.8 x 21.8cm, left and bottom margins trimmed to image, numbered “NASA AS17-133-20256” (NASA MSC) in black in top margin

647 b
Harrison Schmitt

Blurred photograph of the orange soil at station 4 showing the photographer’s shadow

Apollo 17, December 7-19, 1972, EVA 2, 145:31:26 GET

Unreleased photograph, vintage gelatin silver print on fiber-based paper, 20.3 x 25.4cm (8 x 10in), numbered “NASA AS17-133-20257” (NASA MSC) in black in top margin

647 c
Eugene Cernan

Orange soil near the rim of Shorty Crater at station 4

Apollo 17, December 7-19, 1972, EVA 2, 145:32:20 GET

Vintage chromogenic print on fiber-based Kodak paper, 20.3 x 25.4cm (8 x 10in), with “A Kodak Paper” watermarks on the verso, numbered “NASA AS17-137-20990” (NASA MSC) in red in top margin

647 d
Eugene Cernan

Harrison Schmitt near the Lunar Rover parked on the rim of Shorty Crater, station 4

Apollo 17, December 7-19, 1972, EVA 2, 145:47:43 GET

Vintage chromogenic print on resin coated Kodak paper, 20.3 x 25.4cm (8 x 10in), with NASA Goddard caption numbered “AS17-137-21011” and “A Kodak Paper” watermarks on the verso
20.3 x 25.4cm (8 x 10in)
Literature
647 d
Hope, p. 31.
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Lot Essay

647 a
At station 4 Schmitt noticed a very unusual orange soil while he was capturing a panoramic sequence near the rim of Shorty Crater.
This beautiful frame from the panoramic sequence has its center blurred compared with the edges possibly because Schmitt got dust on the lens during the traverse from station 3.

145:26:25 Schmitt: Wait a minute...
145:26:26 Cernan: What?
145:26:27 Schmitt: Where are the reflections? I’ve been fooled once. There is orange soil!!

647 b
Excited by the view of newly discovered orange soil near Shorty Crater, Schmitt didn’t change his f-stop setting or wasn’t holding the camera steady or got dust on his lens resulting in this completely blurred and overexposed photograph of the gnomon and orange soil.

“Fortunately, it was Cernan’s job to do most of the documentation photography and, therefore, there is an excellent set of down-Sun color photographs to provide coverage of the sampling activities” (ALSJ caption for AS17-133-20257).

145:31:16 Cernan: Oh, man, that’s incredible!
145:31:19 Schmitt: Okay, Gene, we’re going to have to...
145:31:20 Cernan: That’s incredible.
145:31:21 Schmitt: You need to get a down-Sun (photograph) color...
145:31:25 Cernan: That’s incredible.
145:31:26 Schmitt: ...as well as...I’ll get my blackand-white.
145:31:28 Cernan: I’ll get it.

647 c
The gnomon is behind a trench dug to collect samples of orange soil and the rim of Shorty Crater is visible behind the boulder.

“Finding orange soil near station 4 on Apollo 17 at a time when oxygen was running low kept us on the jump. We dug a trench 8 inches deep and 35 inches long, took samples of the orange soil and nearby gray soil, drove a core tube into the deposit, sampled surrounding rocks, described and photographed the crater site in detail, and packed the samples, all in 35 minutes. The effort gave scientists a most unusual lunar sample: very small beads of orange volcanic glass, formed in a great eruption of fire fountains over 3.5 billions years ago,” noted Harrison Schmitt (NASA SP-350, p.276).

145:31:58 Cernan: Before you disturb it, let me just get a couple of close-ups of that.
145:32:02 Schmitt: Hey, can you get a down-Sun? I think your color will be best down-Sun (photograph).
145:32:05 Cernan: Okay.
145:32:06 Schmitt: Go to f/11. Get a little closer, Geno, if you think you’re minimum. There you go.
145:32:20 Cernan: Let me get one more.

647 d
A frame released by NASA from the panoramic sequence taken by Cernan near the rim of Shorty Crater.
The western wall of Shorty Crater is at the right of the image; West Family Mountain, rising 1,000 meters above the valley floor, is in the background behind the Lincoln-Lee Scarp, a mare wrinkle ridge crossing the Valley of Taurus-Littrow.

“The clarity brought on by the lack of atmosphere gives the impression that objects are closer than they really are,” observed Schmitt. “This atmospheric clarity made it difficult to estimate distances, so I used the known distance of my shadow and any given sun angle to calibrate my estimates of near field distances and crater diameters.” (Constantine, p. 139).

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