This week, Sports Illustrated offers up its annual tribute to the OTHER thing guys care about—women. Specifically, women in swimsuits. And because women in swimsuits are best viewed in three glorious dimensions, the editors have thoughtfully provided pictures of some of their models in 3-D accompanied by the requisite pair of super high-tech (circa 1950) red-and-blue anaglyph glasses.
Anyway, we at SI‘s corporate cousin Popular Science would like to offer you another thing to look at with your awesome new shades, and it’s almost as dorky as a bunch of jocks donning colored glasses to check out chicks in bikinis. Behold: moon dirt. The picture above (you can check out several more here) are the only true stereoscopic images ever made of the moon. They were taken by the Apollo 11, 12 and 14 astronauts using a close-range (six-inch) stereo camera designed by famous—and famously feisty—Cornell University space scientist, Tommy Gold. Gold, who died in 2004 at the age of 84, had designed the camera and managed to get it onto the mission docket even though he had insisted very vocally prior to the moon missions that any vehicle that landed on the moon’s surface would instantly sink into quicksand-like dust and every astronaut on board would die horrible, ghastly deaths. He was a great scientist who had many theories that proved correct, but he got that little detail wrong.
When the pictures came back, Gold used them to study the fine texture of undisturbed lunar soil—though one image is a closeup of a track from the lunar rover. These pictures were converted from the original stereoscopic slides into single images that can be viewed with the glasses found in this week’s SI. Enjoy. —Eric Adams
The Moon in 3-D – Photo Gallery