Thursday, January 24, 2008

Did man ever set foot on the moon?



Conspiracy theorists believe they can prove the Moon landings were fake. Yet experts from NASA, and others who worked on the Moon landings, claim they can answer all the hoax accusations. Here are just some of the more popular arguments over the Apollo evidence.


Flying flag
There are many photographs of US flags on the Moon. In many shots, the flags appear to be waving. But there is no atmosphere on the Moon, so there is no breeze for a flag to flutter in.

The Apollo astronauts claim their flags had horizontal poles across the top, which kept them extended. The flags were rippling because the poles had been twisted.

Buzz Aldrin on the Moon

Shadows on the surface
Look carefully at the shadows in the Apollo photographs. Hoax believers point out that, when you have a single light source, very far away, (as the Sun appears on the Moon), shadows should all be parallel. They claim that shadows pointing in different directions are evidence of nearby or multiple light sources - as you would get in a film studio.

Shadows from a point source appear parallel when projected onto a flat surface. However, the surface of the Moon is uneven. Could this be enough to make the shadows appear to point in different directions?

An astronaut on the Moon

Where are the stars?
Conspiracy theorists argue that you ought to be able to see stars from the Moon. Yet there are no stars in any of the Apollo photographs.

Photography experts point out that the Apollo photographs were taken during the lunar day, and lit by the Sun. The Moon has no atmosphere, so the sky still looks black, but there is plenty of light to take photographs. Therefore, the astronauts appeared brighter than the stars in the background. The stars are there, but just too dim to be seen.

Buzz Aldrin on the Moon

Radiation exposure
The Van Allen belt is a band of high energy particles trapped in the Earth's magnetic field. It is often claimed that radiation from these belts would kill any astronaut passing through.

Radiation from the Van Allen belt would kill any astronaut that spent enough time there. But the Apollo craft didn't spend long enough there for the astronauts to get a fatal dose. NASA point out that astronauts on the Space Shuttle still pass through this belt with no ill effects.

The Earth is surrounded by the Van Allen Belt

Bright Shadows
On the Moon, there is no atmosphere to scatter light. Therefore, regions of shadows should look completely dark. But this is not always the case with Apollo photographs. Conspiracy theorists say this is more evidence that the photographs are fake.

Photographic experts argue that light can reflect from bright objects nearby. In particular, they point out that the bright white spacesuits worn by the astronauts could have reflected light into regions of shadow.

The Apollo 12 mission
Your Opinions

Bob Builder - "How is anyone supposed to believe that a space-craft with the total computer power of a pocket calculator made it to the moon and back?"

Malcolm Bond - "The astronauts claim that the lunar dust was plentiful, very fine, pervasive and got attached to and into everything. In the lunar photographs there is no evidence of this dust. The footpads of the LEM and foil coverings are pristine and clean."


Harry Faulkner - "I still believe it was real. And just think what a coup it would have been for the Soviet Union to have been able to show that it was all faked. If they had even so much as a whisper that it was faked - and their intelligence was very good - they'd have screamed 'fake' at the top of their voices. They never did."

Geoff Pollard - "The conspiracy theorists always ignore one important factor... the moon rocks that were brought back. These were distributed world wide to the scientific community and universities for evaluation. Surely if they had been faked then someone would have blown the whistle by now."

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