Astronauts lifting their visors on the Moon

I’ve been watching my “From the Earth to the Moon” HBO DVDs, and I’ve noticed that the astronauts on the Moon occasionally lift their visors, so we can see their faces. But I recall, when the Moonwalks were actually happening, that the astronauts did not lift their visors. At least not that we watching TV on Earth could see.

My question: Did the Apollo astronauts on the Moon lift their visors, so as to see the Moonscape better? Or Earth? Or whatever?

Neil Armstrong face seen on the Moon.
Jim Irwin face visible with visor up.

Jack Schmitt with visor up.

Anotherpicture with visor up.

Gene Cernan captured just after he parked the Lunar Rover.

It’s all part of the reason we know the moon landings never …

Oops, sorry, GQ. :stuck_out_tongue:

Obviously by they cites they did but Im not sure why you would think they wouldn’t.

They might have kept the visor down during the day most of the time for the simple reason that the sunlight would be more intense than what they’d get on Earth (at least at the same latitude) due to lack of atmospheric filtering. Presumably they’d lift it up to get a better look at things or for photo ops from time to time

Nitpick the Lunar Landings were all made when the sun was relatively low in the sky. It would be either local early “morning” or late “evening” when the Astronauts landed.

There would probably be a glare reflecting up from the lunar surface, though. The polarized visors would help them to see distant features with more clarity, just as polarized sunglasses do on earth.

All of those pictures clearly show light reflecting off of a transparent visor. Perhaps an outer shell - polarized or darkened against bright light and glare - could be raised while leaving the transparent, airtight inner part in place.

Yes, most of the Apollo astronauts were for some reason reluctant to open their helmet entirely to the vacuum and die a quick but horrible death.

Everybody is talking about the gold sun visor, not the whole darn faceplate.

There were two visors and several sunshades on the Apollo suit; each of which could be raised or lowered independently. See this page for more details.

The gold-covered sun visor is the one that conceals the face in many shots; I expect that Schmitt preferred to raise this wherever possible - as a geologist he would want to see the true colours of the rocks.

They can’t be polarized because it prevents them from viewing LCD instruments. The coating on the visor is essentially the same sort of glare reduction mirror coating you find on Oakley (or almost any non-fashion) sunglasses.

Actually it seems that Schmitt raised his visor because it was scratched;

It also appears that you couldn’t put the sunshades down unless both visors were down.

Did they have any instruments that had LCDs? I’d be surprised if they did, since LCDs were just getting on the market about that time.

Well yes, that’s why they had the visors in the first place. But they weren’t looking into the sun the entire time.

Which LCD-based displays are you aware of in any of the Apollo missions? Bear in mind, the first viable LCD technology came out in 1971. That eliminates all Apollo missions before 14, and that flew in January of that year. Given engineering lead-up times, I’d be amazed if they integrated new display technology within the same year as its introduction, so write off everything except Apollo 16 and 17 (1972).

Even if they had LCD displays, it’s trivial to design LCD displays that can be seen through polarizing filters. All you have to do is orient the polarizer in the LCD correctly, so that the light from it is vertically polarized. If the device is designed to be used in both orientations (landscape & portrait), you orient the polarizer at a 45 degree angle. (And in fact, I think most LCD displays have the polarizer at 45 degree angle, I think for this very reason.)

It’s trivial if the people looking at the displays are going to be in a fixed position and are unable to move their heads. In practice, that’s not how things work. That’s why pilots don’t wear polarized sunglasses.

Not according to the FAA (PDF link):

Anti-glare filters are polarizers, but not an integral part of the LCD display.

It really is trivial to design LCD displays that can be seen through polarized sunglasses, if that is your goal. It will go dark if you literally tilt your head 90 degrees, but the chances of that happening in real life is vanishingly small. Or you could put a quarter-wave plate in front of the screen, thus creating a circularly polarized light which can be seen at any any angle.

Or do what they do with polarized camera lens filters and just design the polarized filter to rotate with a twist of the bezel.

So it looks like they did from time to time. Thanks, all, for the answers; and especially thanks to AK84 for the photo cites.