The final image of Earth taken from the lunar surface, again showing it through the eyes of the Lunar Rover’s TV camera - this time shortly after the ascent module take off. The image is given at Honeysuckle Creek’s website and it takes place at the end of the TV broadcast of the ascent module lift off. We can time it fairly precisely as the crew tell Houston that a guidance tweak has been completed at 175:43, or 01:37 on the 24th.
While this part of the broadcast is not normally found on youtube, I have been able to acquire a copy from Honeysuckle Creek and can confirm that this is when the still was taken. I have stacked about 10 seconds worth of footage and combined them to produce a cleaned up version of the image (just as Honeysuckle Creek did with their version).
The original Honeysuckle Creek image is shown below in figure 220.127.116.11 Figure 18.104.22.168 shows my ‘stacked’ image taken from the video frames supplied by Honeysuckle on the left superimposed with an Earthview screenshot set at 01:30 on the 24th, made transparent so that the video can be seen beneath it. Next to that is the video still compared with the ESSA imagery dated 23rd, whose timings put it about 3 hours ahead of the Apollo broadcast.
Figure 22.214.171.124: Video still from the Apollo 16 LRV TV camera. Source.
Figure 126.96.36.199: Video still compared ESSA satellite data, 3D reconstruction, SkySafari time depiction, Earthview projection with Apollo still superimposed, and ESSA photo from the 23rd publshed in the Sarasota Herald Tribune on the 24th.
Once the orientation of the photograph is matched with the known orientation of the Earth at the time it was taken it is possible to start looking at whether the ESSA image matches up.
The details are admittedly not as clear as would be preferred, but i believe the inferences I have made to be not unreasonable. There is a broad band of cloud around the equator, with clear ocean to the south. Given that the satellite photograph precedes the Apollo shot by several hours, it is again not unreasonable that the green arrow points to the same storm system in both images. Likewise the band of white in the southern hemisphere temperate zone.
Even a blurry, low quality image from a TV broadcast sent from the moon has enough information in it to identify features supporting the fact that that is where it was: on the moon.
Time to head home now, see the next page for more.