Moon hoax: why not use telescopes to look at the landers?

By Phil Plait | August 12, 2008 10:00 am

In July 1969, Man first walked on the Moon. Over the course of three more years, we did it five more times.

Despite the return of hundreds of kilos of rocks, thousands of pictures, and independent verification and authentication from dozens of countries (some of which were and still are our enemies), some people stubbornly refuse to accept the fact that the Apollo Moon landings were real.

I need not go into their falacious claims here (after all, I’ve written on them extensively elsewhere). Instead, let’s look at a seemingly simple question of verification: if the landings were real, why not point Hubble or some other telescope at the landing sites and take pictures of the landers?

Hubble and the Lunar Module: nopeThis question is obvious enough, and I’ve gotten it so many times I decided to write this description of just why this won’t work. The answer is pretty surprising to most people, but the science doesn’t lie.

The basic idea is that when the astronauts left the Moon, they left behind several artifacts, including the base of the lunar module (called the descent stage) and the rovers (for Apollo 15, 16, and 17). The descent stages were a little over 4 meters wide (the landing legs spread out were 9 meters across, but are narrow, so the bulk of the stage would be easier to see). The rovers were about 3 meters long and 2 wide.

Those numbers sound like you should be able to spot them with, say, Hubble. But can you?

The question here is one of resolution: how big does an object have to be before a telescope can resolve it, that is, see it as more than just a dot? As an example, a person standing next to you is easy to see and easily identifiable. But from a mile away that human is far more difficult to see, and from ten miles away is just a dot (if that).

The ability for a telescope to resolve an object is, as you’d expect, directly related to the size of the mirror or lens. There is a simple relationship between mirror size and resolving power: R = 11.6 / D. What does this mean?

First, R = the angular size of the object in arcseconds. An arcsecond is a measure of angular size (how big an object appears to be — if two objects are the same physical size, the one farther away will appear smaller, and have a smaller angular size). There are 3600 arcseconds to a degree, and to give you an idea of how small a measure this is, the Moon is about 0.5 degrees = 1800 arcseconds across.

D is the diameter of the mirror in centimeters. Hubble’s mirror is 2.4 meters = 240 centimeters across. Plugging that into the formula, we see that Hubble’s resolution is 11.6 / 240 = 0.05 arcseconds. That’s an incredibly small size; a human would have to be nearly 8000 kilometers (4900 miles) away to be 0.05 arcseconds in size!

To be totally accurate, there’s a twist to this. Well, really two. The first is that there’s a wavelength dependence too; for a given telescope size, the shorter the wavelength the more resolution you get (a telescope will resolve blue objects better than red ones, since blue has a shorter wavelength). But this is pretty minor compared to mirror size, and we can ignore it here (plus it’s already compensated for in the constant 11.6 that we used above).

Second, there’s a statistical rule that says that you actually need an object to be twice that theoretical size to be properly resolved (I won’t go into boring details, but you can look up the Nyquist Sampling Theorem if you’re looking for an excuse to slack off at work). So really, Hubble’s working resolution limit is about 0.1 arcseconds. There are tricks you can do to get slightly higher resolution, but that’s getting too picky. Let’s just call it 0.1 arcseconds.

So what does this mean if you want to look at the lunar artifacts? Well, now we have to figure out what the angular size of a given piece of Apollo machinery is, and then compare it to Hubble’s resolution.

New Year resolution
New Year’s Resolution

There is another simple formula you can use to determine the angular size of an object based on its physical size and its distance: (d / D) x 206265 = α. In other words, take the physical size (d) of an object, divide it by the distance (D), multiply that by the constant 206265, and that gives you the angular size (α) in arcseconds (make sure D and d are in the same units!).

So let’s look at our lunar descent stage. It’s 4 meters across, but 400,000,000 meters away. That gives it an angular size of (4/400,000,000) x 206265 = 0.002 arcseconds.

Hey, wait a sec! Hubble’s resolution is only 0.1 arcseconds, so the lander is way too small to be seen as anything more than a dot, even by Hubble. It would have to be a lot bigger to be seen at all. In fact, if you do the math (set Hubble’s resolution to 0.1 arcseconds and the distance to 400,000 kilometers) you see that Hubble’s resolution on the Moon is about 200 meters! In other words, even a football stadium on the Moon would look like a dot to Hubble.

That’s a pretty big surprise to most people. They’re used to seeing magnificent detail in Hubble images, stars in galaxies and wisps of gas in beautiful nebulae. But those objects are far, far larger than the Moon. Hubble’s resolution is 0.1 arcseconds no matter how far away an object is. Those wisps of gas appear to be finely resolved, but they’re billions of kilometers across. That’s a bit roomier than the lunar landers were.

So even if we built a colossal sports arena in Tycho crater, Hubble would barely see it at all. The landers, rovers, and other junk left on the lunar surface by the astronauts are totally invisible.

Using a bigger telescope won’t help much. You’d need a mirror 50 times bigger than Hubble’s to see the landers at all, and we don’t have a 100 meter telescope handy.

However, there are two tricks we can use here. One is to look not for the artifacts themselves, but for their shadows. At sunrise or sunset, the shadow from a lander might be long enough to detect, even if the lander itself is invisible. However, this is a very tricky observation and has to be timed just right (and the landscape itself may hide the shadow; crater rims, mountains, and natural dips and bumps might prevent sunlight from hitting the lander until the Sun is high in the sky, and that will shorten the shadows).

Plus, try to convince a committee in charge of hotly-contested and hugely over-subscribed telescopes to give you a night to try this and see how they react. Good luck ever getting an observation again.

The other method is obvious enough: go back to the Moon and take a look. Later this year we will be sending the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to the Moon, and it will be able to resolve objects as small as 0.5 meters across (it’s far smaller than Hubble, but it’ll be a lot closer to the Moon). It will easily resolve the landers, and even the rovers.

But I don’t think that will help us in our argument. Moon Hoax believers have made it their mission in life to deny the veritable tsunami of evidence that the landings were real. That includes all the pictures taken by the astronauts themselves. Do you really think they’d believe more pictures returned by NASA?

I sure don’t. Once you stick your fingers in your ears and start saying "LALALALALA I can’t hear you" all bets are off, and no amount of evidence will help. The only thing to do is to go back.

And that’s just what we’re doing. Not to prove to Apollo deniers anything, of course. They can sit here back on Earth and pretend it’s flat for all I care. But the rest of us will look up, look out… and shoot the Moon.

Party hat image courtesy of Drew Saunders, via creative commons license.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Antiscience, Debunking, NASA, Science

Comments (229)

  1. Andy

    Something that’s always confused me is why Moon Hoaxers don’t believe we went to the Moon, but aliens fly here all the time…

    :)

  2. Hey, if the landings were real, couldn’t we just bounce a laser or something off of the corner reflectors left by the astronauts? Oh, wait. We’ve actually done that.

  3. Rowan

    That info about telescopes was really informative, thanks Phil! (and also a fantastic reason to stop worrying about car park ramp gradients). Can’t wait till next year when I am changing course to science (mostly inspired by you!).

  4. Alcari

    Thankfully, the atronauts placed a few mirrors on the moon. We can’t see those either, but we know where they are. Take a big laser, aim it 10 meter to the left of one of those mirrors –> No reflection. Aim it at the mirror –> reflection.

    Of course, I’ve heared moon hoaxers say this is either natural (yes, they think that moondust can produce highly relfective surfaces aimed directly at earth), or that we put it there by using an “unmanned missile” (their words, not mine).

  5. BMcP

    I have heard this about Hubble before in regards to really physically snall objects at Lunar or greater distances.

    I am curious, would Kaguya be able to possibly spot the lander due to its high resolution cameras a much closer distance? I suppose it would require just the right orbit for such a picture.

  6. Alcari

    Oh, one small addition to to formula posted above.
    It only works for small objects that are far away. If you use it on larger object, or nearby objects, you need to use a cosine. However, when talking such small number, cos(x)~x so it get ignored. Same as structural enginering, if I understood my friends correctly.

  7. Joneil

    Now that green lasers have been banned from most amatuer star parties, how will we ever point them at the moon and bounce them back? :)

    Actually, I’m not as faceious as I sound, as the local university has a really neat research site nearby using a liquid mercury mirror and a powerful green laser. That’s one laser locally that just *might* be able to hit the moon. Wonder if it’s been tried?

    Of course, we could just play along and say “yep, you’re right, we had the aliens working for us from Area 51 put those mirrors on the moon.”

    :D

  8. Nathan

    That was a great article. I honestly have often wondered the mathematics behind it. Thanks!

  9. guestwork

    I tend to have this sick fantasy of locking a Moon Hoax Believer and a Hoagland devotee into a room, wait until the inevitable turmoil inside goes quiet, then see who comes out again as the conspiracy-theoretical winner…

  10. Brango

    Hey Phil, I know the hoaxers arguments are all complete twaddle, but my favourite chucklefest is the one where the Japanese Kaguya (am I even close?) probe was unable to get the angle of the Earth to be the same as in the original Earthrise footage!

    Something like “Seriously, check it out… the crescent of the Earth is like, at a different angle, and stuff!”. And they say it with such gusto too!!

    Maybe they should do a movie where sane people are taken to an asylum and drugged up until they no longer accept reality… and call it, Reality Farm(tm)!

  11. GaterNate

    “Now that green lasers have been banned from most amatuer star parties…”

    Whoa. What? Really? Why? On whose authority, Darth Vader’s?

    That’s terrible news for anyone who recently ordered a relatively expensive green laser that hasn’t yet arrived.

  12. Todd W.

    Nice article. I definitely liked hearing about the math behind it. Now, as a followup question, if Hubble were close enough to have decent resolution, would the images still be indiscernible due to the focal length being off?

  13. RJB

    Thanks for the engineering data. Was always curious about the math. So even a ground based monster like Palomar wouldn’t do much better, especially when you figure in atmosphere and light pollution. So if we reverse the math we need a reflecting mirror about 58m across. Maybe we can design a new roof for a football stadium to do double duty?

    BTW. Japan Space Agency new article from their recent Moon probe.
    http://www.jaxa.jp/press/2008/05/20080520_kaguya_e.html

  14. smeg4brains

    “But those objects are far, far larger then the Moon.”

    *cough* than *cough*

  15. madge

    I vote that as soon as SpaceX or Virgin Galactic are up and running we fly ALL the moonhoax bozos up to the Moon and let them see the landers and ASLEPS for themselves. We photograph them and get them to sign affidavits to say they recant all their baloney…..and then WE LEAVE THEM THERE :)

  16. It sounds like the landers will make good test targets if the 100 m optical telescopes ever get built.

    In the meantime, I wonder if you could detect one with an interferometer. Is building a medium size optical interferometer within the realm of possibility for a group of amateur astronomers yet?

  17. IBY

    @madge
    I second that vote! :)

  18. Snoopy31415

    What Moon Hoax have to say about the fact that Americans went to the Moon as part of a Moon Race with the Soviet Union, that if it was fake I’m pretty sure the Soviet Union would have said something.

  19. Yousuf

    I recall seeing stories when the Hubble first launched that it would be able to pick up a small light-bulb on the surface of Pluto. I suppose those claims are all recanted now?

  20. joneil

    Quote:
    ” “Now that green lasers have been banned from most amatuer star parties…”
    Whoa. What? Really? Why? On whose authority, Darth Vader’s? ”

    No, not quite. They have been banned at the Winter Star Party for a few years now, and this past year, StarFest, Canada’s largest star party, this was the first year they were banned.

    For the Winter Star Party, they were banned due to both interference with astro-imaging (film and/or digital), and the fact that you have fighter aircraft operating fully armed out of NAS Key West and apparently the Navy pilots there don’t like green lasers, especially just 90 miles away from Havana the paranoia level is a wee bit elevated. My first year at the WSP when I was told this I thought it was a bad joke, but they are quite serious, and who am I to argue with a fully loaded and armed F-18? :) But jokes aside, use of one at the WSP will mean IMMEDIATE ejection from the grounds.

    Check around at different star parties across both the USA and Canada for yourself, and you will see green lasers are mostly banned.

    I suppose however, that once the “moon people” (hey, what else to call them? :) ) get a hold of this information, they will come up with some conspiracy about that too – like maybe we really cannot prove there are mirrors there. :)

  21. tacitus

    I suspect that for the perpetrators of the Moon Landing Hoax conspiracy theory it’s as much about the belief that they know better than the rest of us, reinforced by the fame and money they have earned from people taken in by their nonsense. And once you’ve invested years of your life in such a venture, it must be very hard to let go and thus there is a tendency to shy away from anything thoughts that they could be wrong.

  22. Don Snow

    Thanks, Phil –

    Your post totally disputes the information I heard about the Hubble ‘scope looking at the moon. That information said the Hubble was too close, to focus.

    It really blew me away, that even with the Hubble, the landers would remain too small to see.

  23. Charles

    Just in case you folks have missed it (I emailed the article to Phil last week:

    LRO Launch Delayed to Clear Window for Military Space Plane Test

    The USAF and Boeing will launch the X-37B—the first military orbital space plane if you discount the secret military shuttle—on top of an Atlas V rocket in November. They want to test its flying features in space and during atmospheric reentry. However, there seems to be a conflict with the civilian space program which may push one of the Moon exploration missions to 2009.

    According to Aviation Week, the X-37B test will use a launch slot previously reserved for another Atlas V, which would have carried NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite. This mission would have to be posponed to February-March 2009.

    souce: Florida Today and gizmodo.com

  24. Murgadroid

    Hi Phil:
    Where you said, “But those objects are far, far larger then the Moon.” I think you meant “than the Moon lander.” If what we’re looking for with our telescope is the lander, it doesn’t matter how big the object that it’s located on is.

    Thanks for the explanation that will help next time I’m asked. This is something that comes up at star parties a lot; both with respect to seeing the moon landers and with explaining the 600+ magnification listed in the advertising copy for cheap dept. store telescopes.

  25. The main thing is, the Hubble is a light-gatherer, not a magnifier. And wouldn’t the intensity of moonlight be a problem with the Hubble’s optics?

    Andy: the reason they dismiss the Moon landing and embrace alien visits is: Aliens can do stuff, but we can’t. Humans built the pyramids? Be serious. They didn’t even have fork lifts then.

    As far as hoax-blievers and their ilk go, I just say “Well bless your pointed little head” and go away.

  26. Duane

    “(d / D) x 206265 = α”

    It’s been a LONG time since high school physics; can someone remind me where the 206265 constant comes from? I remember having to derive the equation on college, but it’s been a stretch since then, too.

    Thanks — duane

  27. Is it a coincidence that the constant used in determining the angular size of an object (206,265) is (almost) the same as the number of astronomical units in a parsec (206,264.806)? o_O

  28. Duane

    Yes it is. Now what’s the answer to my question? ;)

    Aye, that’s the sticky wicket. Thanks for the reminder!!

  29. Sophia

    @Zorkfox: A parsec is defined to be the distance at which 1 astronomical unit (distance from Earth to the Sun) is 1 arcsecond in angular size, so it’s not a coincidence at all that the two numbers are the same. ;)

    @Duane: In 1 radian, there are 206265 arcseconds. 180 degrees * 60 arcmin * 60 arcsec / pi = 206265 (approximately).

  30. Even seeing the landers wouldn’t convince the hoaxers. They believe we could send robots to put the artifacts there.

    But of course somehow it’s impossible for humans to go through the Van Allen belts.

  31. Mitch Miller

    “Oh, one small addition to to formula posted above.
    It only works for small objects that are far away. If you use it on larger object, or nearby objects, you need to use a cosine. However, when talking such small number, cos(x)~x so it get ignored. Same as structural enginering, if I understood my friends correctly.”

    Sin(x)~x for small x, not cos. Cos(x)~ 1- (x^2)/2 for small x.

  32. al'be:do

    “Is it a coincidence that the constant used in determining the angular size of an object (206,265) is (almost) the same as the number of astronomical units in a parsec (206,264.806)? o_O”

    No, that’s not a coincidence. A parsec is the parallax of an arcsecond. So the radius of earth’s orbit around the sun would produce a viewing angle of 1 arcsecond if you’re one parsec (which is the same as 206,264.8 AU) away.
    Phil just rounded the exact number, that’s all.

    al’be:do

  33. Goober

    “Even seeing the landers wouldn’t convince the hoaxers. They believe we could send robots to put the artifacts there.”

    Good point. If we can go back to prove the stuff’s there, then we could go back secretly to put the stuff there.

    This kind of conspiracy is literally a form of mental illness. A complete disconnect from reality. And continuing to refute their insane rantings only adds to the problem, as it feeds the insanity. The proper response is the sort of embarassed silence, looking the other way, like at Thanksgiving dinner when Auntie May starts holding a conversation with her green beans again. Ignoring them won’t make them go away, but they’ll eventually taper off to incoherent mumblings (which is less annoying), and it doesn’t make the illness worse.

  34. zeb

    I remember once hearing a Moon Hoaxer say that even if a telescope was pointed at the Moon and he saw the landers and rovers, he still wouldn’t believe since NASA has had almost forty years to fly up fake landers and everything. I wanted to reach through the TV and smack him in the head.

  35. BMcP

    I heard that it was impossible to see physically small objects with Hubble.

    Is it possible to see the lunar lander with the “Kaguya” SELENE satellite presently orbiting the moon with it’s high resolution camera? Of course it have to be on the right obrit to do so.

  36. Ian

    Zorkfox: It’s no coincidence. The definition of a parsec is the distance to an object that subtends a parallax of 1 arcsecond over a displacement of 1 AU. The two formulas are closely related.

  37. Ace McNertney

    I don’t believe that moon hoaxers exist.

  38. Ian

    BMcP: According to Wikipedia, SELENE’s terrain camera has a resolution of 10 meters / pixel. Barring some clever method of taking the picture, it also cannot resolve the lander.

  39. Chris/0

    @Zorkfox, @Duane
    I think it’s not a coincidence. Consider that parsec is short for “parallax of one arcsecond” and I think the rest will follow naturally.

  40. Nic

    I seriously believe that Moon Hoax fans wouldn’t believe in 747’s if they didn’t see them flying overhead every day.

    Phil – you didn’t get into interferometers…

  41. Steve

    I think most of the landers are in large, flat areas with no large rocks or mountains around – the sites were chosen for safety, especially the first one. So the shadow idea sounds kind of interesting: there won’t be any problem with the sun being blocked by terrain until it’s so high above the lander that the shadows are short.

    Of course, even if the Hubble people imaged the shadows and published, the deniers would just say those images were doctored or completely false. Or that they were imaging a convenient rock’s shadow instead of the lander’s.

  42. Gary Ansorge

    joneil Says:

    “once the “moon people” (hey, what else to call them?”

    Ah, the Moon People, weren’t they the ones that were along the Amtrak train tracks and were Mooning the train as it passed???

    Actually, I prefer their God given title:

    Lunatics.

    GAry 7

  43. Alcari

    “Sin(x)~x for small x, not cos. Cos(x)~ 1- (x^2)/2 for small x.”

    Note to self: Don’t attempt to post intelligently on a blog full of intelligent people at 03:15.
    Thankfully, it doesn’t matter if you use neither ;)

  44. Dan Prysby

    Why do we bother giving any attention, time or space to the crowd that
    claims the moon landings are fake and the Earth is flat.
    No amount of proof will convince them.
    I think they are out for attention.
    Let’s just ignore them, let them shout all they want and get silence in return.
    I am not interested in expending effort to try and show someone facts that they choose to dis-believe.

  45. Great post, Phil! I also noticed that some posters argue we could use lasers to demonstrate that the mirrors are indeed on the moon and working, thus providing immediate evidence that we went there. Unfortunately, it does not work quite that way. Lasers do not produce perfectly collimated beams; every beam that has a finite waist size must diverge. A regular laser pointer would create a spot size about the same size as the moon itself. The laser ranging experiment that uses the corner cubes on the moon produces a light spot on the moon about 7 kilometres across, and when it gets back to Earth it is about 20 km across. The light levels that are detected are much too weak to see with the naked eye.

  46. @ Madge,
    I agree, but I think we should leave them there.

  47. I’m being picky (and quite possibly completely mistaken) but when you said:
    “…there’s a statistical rule that says that you actually need an object to be twice that theoretical size to be properly resolved…”, isn’t that not quite right? My understanding was that you need the pixel resolution to be at least half the desired resolution to properly sample your image. In other words, if the diffraction limited resolution of Hubble is 0.05″, then each pixel needs to cover 0.025″ of sky. If the pixel resolution was 0.05″, then the effective resolution would be 0.1″.

    Please correct me if I’m mistaken. Of course, either way, you still couldn’t see the landing equipment.

    Great article as always!

  48. Will. M

    I wonder if the “lunatics” (I like that moniker!) believe in the reality of the pix from the Mars Rovers, the images from the various solar system planets and their satellites taken by the NASA, European and Japanese satellites, and so on? Is it just the fact that folks actually stepped on the Moon which is outside their scientific belief, and yet they can believe all the other marvels shown by NASA’s roving satellites? Has the current trouble NASA is having in getting funding for a new Moon program and the disagreement over what the aims of that program should be contributing to that disbelief? Or, is it selective ignorance?

  49. L Fuller

    Here is an interesting article on the Lunar and Planetary Institute Website on the mirrors left on the moon and how they are used:

    http://www.lpi.usra.edu/lunar/missions/apollo/apollo_11/experiments/lrr/

  50. > Duane Says:
    > “(d / D) x 206265 = α”
    > It’s been a LONG time since high school physics; can someone remind me where
    > the 206265 constant comes from? I remember having to derive the equation on
    > college, but it’s been a stretch since then, too.

    An angle is a fraction of a circle. You can consider the angular size of an object to be equal to its actual (linear) size d, which in turn is roughly the fraction of a circle with a radius equal to the distance of the object, D. (Actually, d is the “chord” of an arc, and the arc is the fraction of the circumference, thus the cosine factor mentioned in other comments. But we can ignore that for small angles.)

    So: Fraction of circle (your angle) = α/360 ° (because there are 360 degrees in a circle).

    Fraction of circle (size of object) = d / 2π D (because the circumference of the circle is 2 π times the radius, and in this case we’re using a circle of radius D)

    So, α/360 = d / 2π D

    Rearrange: d/D x (360 ° / 2 π ) = α

    But remember, we want our number to be in arcseconds, not degrees, so

    Rearrange: d/D x (360 ° x 60′ x 60″/ 2 π ) = α (60 arcminutes per degree, 60 arcseconds per arcminute)

    Calculating all that out, you get d/D x (206,264.81″) = α

    Round the constant up to 206,265 and you’re done. :)

    > Zorkfox Says:
    > Is it a coincidence that the constant used in determining the angular size of an
    > object (206,265) is (almost) the same as the number of astronomical units in a
    > parsec (206,264.806)? o_O

    Not a coincidence, and well spotted! A parsec is a “parallax arcsecond”, which means that “something at this distance will appear to shift by a parallax angle of one arcsecond when we observe it from the two sides of Earth’s orbit”. So basically, it’s using that same formula. For d, put in 1 AU, and for α put in 1 arcsecond. Then D equals 206,265 AU, and this is then defined as one parsec. Ta-da!

  51. Sili

    Thanks, Pieter Kok, I thought I remembered as much.

    What do people use lasers for at star parties? Never been to one, myself.

  52. RL

    Isn’t light brightness (way too much) a problem for Hubble, too? I thought I read somewhere, maybe here, that the reflection of light from the moon and Earth is too bright and could damage it.

    If resolution is a function of telescope mirror size, then how do spy satellites image license plates and such (or is that just lore)? Is this a different technology?

  53. Tarrkid

    > A parsec is a “parallax arcsecond”, which means that
    > “something at this distance will appear to shift by a
    > parallax angle of one arcsecond when we observe it
    > from the two sides of Earth’s orbit”. So basically, it’s
    > using that same formula. For d, put in 1 AU, and for
    > α put in 1 arcsecond. Then D equals 206,265 AU, and
    > this is then defined as one parsec. Ta-da!

    OK, but what’s a “Kessel Run”?

  54. Joey Joe Joe

    [nitpick]
    “But those objects are far, far larger then the Moon.”

    “then” should be “than”

    sorry… just a pet peeve of mine!
    [/nitpick]

    Good article, though.

  55. “Fallacious claims”? “Larger then”? Do you get edited at all?

  56. Zorkfox Says:

    Is it a coincidence that the constant used in determining the angular size of an object (206,265) is (almost) the same as the number of astronomical units in a parsec (206,264.806)? o_O

    No. It’s not a coincidence. It’s a conspiracy! XD

  57. Ijon Tichy

    OK, I’m not sure if Phil reads this far down a comment thread, but let’s assume I’m one of these crazy Moon hoaxers. I just read the article above, and now I’m going to try to argue that Phil’s logic is flawed.

    1. Vega is 25 light years away.
    2. Vega is (roughly) 2.5 times the diameter of the Sun.
    3. Go to Google, type in 206265 * (2 * radius of sun / light year) * (2.5 / 25) and find that Vega has an apparent size of 0.003 arc-seconds, which is well beyond the resolution capabilities of Hubble.
    4. But wait a minute: Hubble can see Vega. In fact, we humans can see Vega with our naked eyes!
    5. Phil is clearly talking nonsense, and the Moon landings were a hoax.

    Voila! A glimpse into the workings of the psychoceramic mind. :)

    I’ll leave it to others to explain the difference between detection and resolution.

  58. justcorbly

    The Moon Hoax loonies believe the government faked the landings, so any use of government resources to prove them wrong will just be derided as one more part of the Big Conspiracy.

    BTW, do they deny the reality of the unmanned vehicles that landed on the Moon, before and after Apollo?

  59. rob

    the US government has supposedly suppressed the truth about the monumental feat of sending people to the moon for FOUR DECADES, yet the Chinese government can’t suppress the truth about something as trivial as fake fireworks and lip-syncing kids for 24 hours?

    yeah, right.

  60. Davidlpf

    ijon first convert the distance to vega and size of vega to units of eith kilometers or miles as long as both are the same then go through the calculation.

  61. Davidlpf

    oops ijon was joking.

  62. justcorbly

    Point taken , Rob. But, isn’t this really a case of the Chinese not publicizing the fake fireworks more than it is of suppressing the truth? I’m pretty sure NBC described that part of the ceremony as “technically augmented” or some such phrase. Besides, couldn’t people in the stadium tell the difference between the roof and the sky?

    Pavarotti lip-synched at an Olympics several years ago, and didn’t tell anyone.

    Anyone besides me see the opening scene with thousands of anonymous drummers banging in unison as in keeping with the submersion of the individual to the will of the Chinese society and state?

  63. Trebuchet

    RL, I think that spy satellite ability to image license plates is indeed just lore. But even if it’s not, they are in low earth orbit. Actually highly elliptical orbits, I think, swooping down very low (around 100 miles) to take the most critical pictures. That’s just a bit closer than the 1/4 million miles to the moon. They could probably image the LM descent stage very well. If it was on Earth!

  64. Donnie B.

    For those asking whether Hubble can focus on the Moon, or can withstand the brightness thereof, the answer is yes to both. In fact, Hubble has imaged the Moon. It was a bit tricky because the Moon moves so fast compared to the background stars, so special techniques were used (IIRC, they had to point Hubble at the place the Moon was going to be when it executed the command to grab the image).

    And for the curious, the short answer to Ijon’s riddle is that Hubble can image Vega, but it can’t resolve it (i.e. see it as a disc, or see two separate stars in cases where the target is a close binary but is beyond the limit Phil described).

  65. Donnie B.

    Follow-up: this link takes you to a page of (mostly) Hubble images of the Moon:
    http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2005/29/image/

  66. CanadianLeigh

    I have not been to star parties that ban green lasers, however I would never light one up without asking all my neighbours if they are imaging. In fact, I won’t use mine at all unless an official deligate ia present and we are showing visitors something to look for.
    I have a laser pointer mounted on my finder scope to help my poor eyes in our light polluted urban skys. I only use it when I am out alone. It is legal in Canada, in fact there are no regulations regarding power at all. The only thing to keep in mind is that aiming it in the direction of any person, be they in an aircraft, car, train, bus, or on foot can be construed as a criminal assault if it endangers. I am always very careful to look before I shoot.

  67. Lukas

    I could imagine that two reasons helped this question gain momentum. 1. The detailed pics we get from Mars (you can see rover tracks!) 2. The zoom level you can get out of google maps (people don’t realize that the really close ones are aerial photos… I’m not sure what they think about streetview).

    1. How large would a telescope on earth have to be to resolve the artefacts in sufficient detail? (I recall it being in the hundreds of meteres)
    2. could you combine several smaller optical telescopes to achieve that resolution?
    3. If #2 = yes. Taking the currently largest mirror telescope on earth (how big is that?) how many replicas of that would you need and over what area would you need to spread them to achieve the wanted resolution?

    / definitely not an HB just into number games and size comparisons.

  68. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter uses the same camera as the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which imaged the decent, shroud, and Phoenix-Mars lander on the surface in May. It can see the rovers, landers, tracks, and other hardware. Unfortunately, NASA will probably put it into a polar orbit to look for ice. Eventually, though, it’ll pass over the landing sites.

    Kim Poor

  69. BMcP

    @Ian

    Thanks for the info!

    Guess we will just have to send more people to the moon so they can get pictures, oh darn, more moon landings! ;)

  70. Mark Hansen

    @Dan Prysby,
    The reason why we should bother is that the HB’s then try to convince others to believe them. It’s like cockroaches; if you don’t stomp the first one you see, pretty soon they’re taking over.

  71. Charles

    Guess we will just have to send more people to the moon so they can get pictures

    I sincerely hope that a reasonable perimeter around each landing site is designated as off-limits and left in-situ. At the very least, the Apollo 11 site. Man’s first footprints on another celestial body are still there (presumably, unless conditions have eradicated them) and should be preserved somehow for the future.

  72. jmd

    It’s a LOLscope!

  73. Robert

    Question: Although we can’t see the landers, what about the impact points for the Saturn third stages that were crashed into the moon. Obviously they created some kind of crater, that could be compared with older photos?

    Of course, the moon hoaxers wouldn’t believe it if you actually loaded them onto a rocket and launched them to the moon and threw them out the airlock on top of one of the landing sites…

    But, you have to admit, that wouldn’t be a bad idea!

    Robert

  74. actually, as your on the subject, here’s an observation.
    When you see the lander lift off from the moons surface, as seen from the moons surface, notice that the camera pans upwards. Given that we are into the early 60’s here, does anyone have any comment of the state of their technology to have the camera track lift off as well as they do?

  75. TomR

    Phil, you know, being reactive gives the other side the power…pretty much the only contact I (and I suspect most readers of your blog) have with Apollo deniers is in your rebuttals to them.

    No real need to bother, they’re not worth troubling about. Anti-evolutionists, on the other hand, are a threat, though I don’t know how many of your blog’s readers are at risk…

    And besides, there’s so many cooler things to talk about than idiots!

  76. BMcP

    @Charles wrote: I sincerely hope that a reasonable perimeter around each landing site is designated as off-limits and left in-situ. At the very least, the Apollo 11 site.

    I would agree, that would be a site of far too much historical significance to disturb. I can see people in the future on the moon visiting it, but taking photos from a reasonable distance so to not disturb the site. Of course even if we have a colony on the moon and someone visits the Apollo sites and photographs it, some people will still claim it is all a hoax :/

  77. Hugo

    Even if you could physically fly the moon hoax believers to the moon and show them the left over equipment they’d argue that they were placed there after the fact…and probably by martians or Al Gore.

  78. David

    Aren’t the retroreflector arrays we left behind considerable evidence that we left something up there? Although I guess if you’re going to doubt the rest of the moon landings, lasers and photons could just seem like more mumbo jumbo.

    Dave

  79. Jojo

    Why should anyone care what the moon hoaxer’s think? Do we care that some people still believe that the earth is flat? Just ignore them and let them bury their heads in the sand.

  80. kuhnigget

    At the very least, the Apollo 11 site. Man’s first footprints on another celestial body are still there (presumably, unless conditions have eradicated them) and should be preserved somehow for the future.

    I seem to recall someone bringing up this issue before, and the question arising as to whether or not the LM ascent stage engine wouldn’t have obliterated the footprints when the astronauts left. Can’t recall (as usual) what the outcome of the debate was.

    And of course Arthur C. Clarke, in one of his books (same “can’t recall” caveat, sighhh) has a fictional Neil Armstrong saying if the footprints wereobliterated he’d happily go up and make some more.

  81. All I know is, if China ever claims to have footage of astronauts on the Moon, I’m going to presume it’s a computer-generated hoax.

  82. CanadianLeigh

    Just look for the Wal Mart signs.

  83. What a crazy random happenstance!

  84. Why would you bother?

  85. Don Snow

    @ Charles –

    “…which would have carried NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite. This mission would have to be posponed to February-March 2009.”

    Look at “…Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite.” (LCOSS)

    Wow! That’s better’n BarBQ sauce, to me. I’m an amatuer lunar and planetary observor.

    Now, when it launches next year (unless it’s set back, again), it seems to me, that that LCOSS may well pick up some evidence of Apollo missions on the moon. What do you think?

  86. @Ijon Tichy:

    It’s sad, but I’ve debated with hoax believers who have used pretty much that exact same argument. There is a quote in some book (I think it’s like one of those ‘cool science facts’ sort of books) that goes along the lines of “The Hubble telescope could detect a lit candle (or something similar, I don’t remember exactly) on the surface of the moon” – of course, ignoring the brightness of the Moon, the lack of air, etc. They used that as evidence that the Hubble telescope should indeed be able to ‘see’ the Apollo sites and that NASA is covering this capability up. I tried to explain the difference to them, using the same example that you’ve cited – even we can SEE the stars, but we can’t RESOLVE them into a disc – but nope, they were convinced that they had uncovered the conspiracy.

  87. What I really don’t get is what benefit do people get out of believing the moon landings were a hoax? Religious delusions I can understand if not accept for myself for they offer easy answers or foster their feelings of superiority or whatever. But why is it important to these people that the landings be false? What feel-good center is stroked by this? What world view is confirmed in believing such nonsense?

  88. As several commenters have already said, even if we could point a telescope at the moon and see the landers, won’t the hoax-believers just claim that the images have been faked? They won’t be prepared to let go of their beliefs so easily.
    The world view that is being confirmed by this belief is a form of misplaced scepticism, Timid Atheist. It’s a blind and irrational distrust of authority, without the will to seek further information. This kind of belief–that the government (and its agencies) are out to trick us into thinking that they are using our taxes for worthwhile things–allows a complete disengagement from politics and current affairs.
    I’m not saying that the government (of any nation) doesn’t try to hide some of its actions and reasoning, or that political authority can always be trusted; but trying to sort out which policies you agree with and which you don’t, and then having the will or the wherewithal to do something about it (write to your local representative, etc) is choosing the hard road, not the easy one. It’s much easier to say, “NASA/the government are a bunch of liars” than to consider each act of political authority on its own merits, reach a rational conclusion and formulate a response.

  89. Robert

    That’s funny! US technology produced a moon rocket made by the lowest bidder. Chinese technology will produce a moon rocket the same quality as a remote control toy at WalMart!

    Robert

  90. bassmanpete

    Lukas said: “The zoom level you can get out of google maps (people don’t realize that the really close ones are aerial photos… I’m not sure what they think about streetview ”

    What you do with streetview is call them up and say “I’m looking at the front of your house on Google Maps, go outside & give me a wave”, and see how many fall for it :)

  91. Dogran

    Gary Ansorge said:

    “Actually, I prefer their God given title:

    Lunatics.”

    Wouldn’t that be a goddess-given title?

    Sorry… :o)

    But seriously, in relation to Moon hoaxes and Mars Faces and all the other related conspiracies, beche-la-mer’s suggestion that they provide an easy cop-out for people who prefer to simply switch their brains off – or at least devote them to less complicated things. It’s a good suggestion, but my own take on it is a little more basic: a conspiracy theory helps its advocates feel as though they’re a step above the rest of us. You only need look at the superior attitude of many of the self-proclaimed “9/11 Truth Movement”: they’re the clever ones, because they can see through the lies, where the rest of us are sheep-like and stupid. I think the same can probably be said of the space-type conspiracies, too. The theorists are the ones smart enough to work out what all the supposed ‘anomalies’ mean. This is why they won’t accept evidence that doesn’t support the conspiracy: if they did, it’d be evidence that they’re no smarter than everyone else.

    What puzzles me about this kind of thing is the most basic foundation of any conspiracy theory: what’s the reason for the conspiracy in the first place? Why is it necessary, even within a theorist’s worldview? I mean, consider Hoagland’s ‘Enterprise Mission': he takes it as an absolute given that NASA are putting all this time and money and effort into deceiving everyone every chance they get – but does he ever once offer a suggestion as to what their ultimate goal is in doing so? As far as I can see, the rationale is simply, “we know they’re doing it, because it’s just what they do”. Take the most basic ‘X Files’ conspiracy: the government is concealing the existence of aliens. No-one ever seems to ask why they would – we just assume that they would. For me, this is the big mystery about conspiracy theories.

    – Dogran (who despite being religious doesn’t believe in God, doesn’t easily accept conspiracy theories, doesn’t expect easy answers through faith, and isn’t superior to anyone else)

  92. “the Moon is about 0.5 degrees … across”

    Doesn’t that statement need a qualifier, along the lines of “when see from Earth”? I think I know a few guys who would have disputed that, for a few days..

  93. Lukas

    There’s a satellite hovering right outside my front door!!!!!!!!!11111!!!

  94. Francis Boyle

    Well, of course the lunatics would say that any Hubble images of the landers were faked. After all, those pretty pictures of stars are made with a copy of Photoshop and a really funky filter!

  95. Imaging the lander using the LRO will not dissuade the tin-foil hat brigade, but I would hope the publicity surrounding the feat might change the minds of the casual doubters who mistakenly trusted that thing they saw on fox one time.

  96. kuhnigget

    @Timid
    I think it also has something to do with wanting to belong to a “select” group. It’s the same with the UFO nuts. They are an elite crowd who possess knowledge that nobody else has. That puts them above the rest. They can pat themselves on the head for being special, all the while taking pity on the poor non-believers who fail to see the light. In that regard, it is very much on a par with religious elitism. Most likely the expression on their faces as they pore over their “proofs” is the same as a christian fundy in the throes of a Christgasm. They probably keep a stack of towels next to their computers.

  97. Fact-nazi

    The Bad Astronomer : wrote

    “Despite the return of hundreds of kilos of rocks, thousands of pictures, and independent verification and authentication from dozens of countries (some of which were and still are our enemies), ”

    Being picky here but can you name which countries were our enemies then & still are now?

    Russia? Technically, Russia didn’t even exist back then it was the Soviet Union and actually a different place. (Okay, not quite different enough but anyhow) So they were our enemies but aren’t anymore. Not great mates sure, but not exactly deserving of “enemy status” either …

    China? Ditto. We trade and kow-tow to them enough to be most favoured trading partner or some such. We even officially ignore their genocide in Tibet, Xinjing and against their own dissidents. :-(

    Vietnam? Well we were at war with them around that time (~ish!) but are at peace now – besides did the Vietnamese have Lunar satellite tracking capability then?

    Iran? We’re not at war with it or Syria – yet. See above too as far far their tracking capability goes.

    Iraq and Afghanistan? The Taliban are gone from power, the war goes on. Sadddam has been hanged and the war goes on but both nations are nominally run by our puppet regimes – and, once again, I doubt their capabilities then or especially now they’ve been bombed back to the stone age. (Well, ok, in Afghanistan’s case the word ‘back’ is unnecessary as they’ve never left that state.) ;-(

    Who does that leave – Cuba? ;-)

    Really, I’m curious…

  98. Jya-Ja Bink's Killer

    Tarrkid says:

    ” .. ( SNIP! ) .. OK, but what’s a “Kessel Run”?”

    A good ‘Star Wars’ reference it is! ;-)

    I gather that’s the run to (Planet) Kessel and back. From where isn’t clear -perhaps a standard smuggling route. Han Solo made it in under 12 parsecs (?) if I recall right – which doesn’t really make sense – unless perhaps it refers to finding some particular shortcut perhaps througn dangerous asteroid belts or other obstacles .. ;-)

    —————

    NB. A Parsec is an astronomical measuring unit – equivalent to 3 point something or other light years.

    Its most useful aspect is with respect to stars intrinsic brightness or Absolute Magnitude versus how bright they appear to be in our sky or their apparent magnitude. A star 10 parsecs away (?) or about 30 odd light years has equal Absolute and apparent magnitudes, a star closer to us is actually intrinsically *fainter* in (Absolute) Mag than it appears (app. mag) and one further away is actually *brighter* in Absolute Mag than its mag seems to us.

    Example. Alpha Centauri the nearest star (quite like the Sun but a double) appears as a first mag star (the third brightest star, actually it has a negative zero mag technically speaking) from our skies as seen from its distanceof 4.3 ly off but put it 10 ly off and it’d be fourth magnitude and among the fainter stars visible to unaided human eyes.

    (With magnitudes – the lower the number the brighter the star.)

    Rigel, OTOH , is a first magnitude star as seen in our skies with a magnitude around the 0~1 mark but if it was brought up to 10 parsecs from its current vast distance of about 700-900 ly away its Magnitude would be *minus seven* or as bright as about a crescent or first quarter Moon. Roughly speaking anyhow.. but y’get the gist I hope.

  99. Tom

    Between Phil, Mythbusters, and LRO, I finally believe that Hoagland, Sibrel and those other people that think this was Hollywood are finally getting their a**es kicked!

    Wooo!

    T.

  100. John Haugeland said: ““Fallacious claims”? “Larger then”? Do you get edited at all?”

    No, I sometimes leave typos in on purpose so anal-retentive people feel like they have something useful to do with their lives.

    Seriously, a comment of “Hey, you have a couple of typos…” would do just fine. Please read my comments policy.

  101. Calli Arcale

    Nic sez:
    I seriously believe that Moon Hoax fans wouldn’t believe in 747’s if they didn’t see them flying overhead every day.

    I’ve seen a website from one moon hoax fan who doesn’t believe in supersonic jets, because he has “scientifically proven” that it is impossible for a large mass to break the sound barrier. Only small masses, such as rifle bullets, can manage it. It’s an entertaining read.

    http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Lab/1917/proof.html

    Kim Poor sez:
    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter uses the same camera as the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which imaged the decent, shroud, and Phoenix-Mars lander on the surface in May. It can see the rovers, landers, tracks, and other hardware. Unfortunately, NASA will probably put it into a polar orbit to look for ice. Eventually, though, it’ll pass over the landing sites.

    Why “unfortunately”? Polar orbit is where you want any spacecraft that’s going to be mapping a planet or moon, because it gives you the best overall coverage. Spy satellites around the Earth are in polar orbits, even though the most interesting targets are at somewhat lower latitudes, because the inclination of your orbit determines the maximum latitude that you can observe. So you really want it to be as high as possible. Put it lower and you are unneccesarily reducing the area available for study. When you’re spending this kind of money, you want the best orbit possible, so polar it will be.

    Inevitably, LRO’s orbit will take it over each of the Apollo sites, though it may be some time before lighting conditions are optimal; to get good pictures, you need the right angle on the target *and* the right sun angle to illuminate it properly without wiping out all the contrast.

  102. JohnG

    @nile,

    The TV cameras used in the Apollo program were remotely commanded to tilt, pan, zoom, etc. The technology existed at the time, certainly. I think the ones used were on the lunar rovers to image the ascent stage. Usually, the hoaxers use the claim that you see no exhaust coming from the ascent stage as it rises. Ignoring the fact that the fuel used is hypergolic and has a nearly invisible exhaust.

  103. Carl F

    I haven’t tried to check your math, but 0.1 arc sec seems a bit large for the Hubble “resolution limit” (a term I just made up). I’m thinking of the great resolution in the Hubble photo of the turbulence in the dust clouds around (or making up) Eta Carinae. Looks like the resolution there is quite high. If the “resolution limit” is 0.1 arc second, then the object itself (as seen in our sky) would be on the order of 10 arc seconds across. Maybe it is, but that seems large to me.

  104. John M

    I didn’t see anyone point out that when landing on a conspiracy theorists web page, you will usually come across a Book or DVD for sale. It’s very much about the money, in addition to whatever other “pleasure centers” get stimulated in the brains of the people that come up with this stuff.

    I did some very simple Wikipedia based research about Hoagland, and found that his whole “theory” was based around the initial observations he made about the first “Face on Mars” photo. In other words, based on what he saw in the photo.

    Years later, when more detailed imaging showing a very different, detailed reality (including CG perspective views based on 3d data from Mars Express), He changed his interpretation significantly, saying “Science is not about what you can see. It’s about what you can measure”. Funny stuff.

  105. RJB

    According to the Science Channel Show “When we left Earth”. The remote camera operator states that the time lag was accounted for on the LAST lunar liftoff using a timed script based on earlier liftoff tracking failures. Basically the commands were sent before liftoff. IIRC they even showed the other attempts at tracking.

  106. Greg in Austin

    According to one of the books (can’t say which one at the moment), the author came up with a clever way to support Han Solo’s claim he made the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs.

    Kessel was a spice planet located near a cluster of black holes. In order to get there, you had to skirt around them, going the long way, to keep from getting pulled in by the enormous gravity. The faster your ship, the closer you could skirt around the black holes, therefore going the shortest safe distance.

    It was clever, if not entirely possible.

    8)

  107. Dogran

    While apparently criticising spelling, John Haugeland said: ‘“Fallacious claims”?’

    What exactly was wrong with that? Both words are spelt and used correctly as far as I can see.

    – Dogran (the pedant’s pedant)

  108. Andy

    What about Optical Aperture Synthesis?

    These guys get resolution of 1 mili-arcsecond:

    http://www.mrao.cam.ac.uk/telescopes/coast/

  109. PronoMan

    They should just wait for the Google Moon Streetview Plugin and watch. TADAAAA!

  110. Peter B

    Nile asked: “When you see the lander lift off from the moons surface, as seen from the moons surface, notice that the camera pans upwards. Given that we are into the early 60’s here, does anyone have any comment of the state of their technology to have the camera track lift off as well as they do?”

    I see JohnG has already responded, but I thought I’d add something.

    Firstly, the LM ascents which were tracked occurred in the early 1970s, not 1960s.

    Secondly, the cameras were remotely controlled from Earth. What’s so hard about that? As JohnG said, the camera could be controlled to pan, zoom and tilt, so all that was needed to track the ascent of the LM was the right mix of those elements at the right time.

    So how did they do it so well? With practice. The man in Mission Control who looked after that was Ed Fendell, and he earned his nickname of Captain Video. After all, tracking the lift-off wasn’t the only thing he did. He also controlled the camera during the missions, when its job was to watch what the astronauts were doing. Go to http://www.apolloarchive.com and look at some of the video clips from Apollos 15, 16 and 17 while they were on the Moon – that was Ed Fendell’s work.

  111. sgeek

    The language geek in me requires that I mention “falacious” in the third paragraph, but fortunately it doesn’t require me to insult you in the process ;-)

    Ignoring the odd typo, thanks for yet another informative essay.

  112. kuhnigget

    Maybe Phil meant to say “fellatious claims?”

  113. Dean J

    Occam’s Razor; what if a small percentage of the moon photos were touched up or faked, in order to get better publicity for the Apollo Program? This seems to be the middle ground that fits all the data.

  114. Deepak

    Dear Phil, I think there is better way solve the moon hoax problem once for and all. Why don’t we just launch an other Apollo mission and in that take all the top ‘moon hoax’ believers and make them land on the moon? Once they come back they can spread out the message that they were wrong and they were really on the moon. I know it costs a lot of money but that will stop this ‘moon hoax’ nonsense once for and all.

  115. DonnieB: Thanks for the Hubble Moon-pix link. As far as imaging the lander goes, simply look at the uppr right Hubble image, and you’ll see it quite clearly. Take that, moon-people.

    Gary Ansorge: “Ah, the Moon People, weren’t they the ones that were along the Amtrak train tracks and were Mooning the train as it passed???”

    No, no, no, the Moon people are the followers of a certain charismatic loon:

    Sun Myung Moon

    If you’re interested in following the hoax story, here’s a reference to the Hare Krishna group. They also claim it’s a hoax, but they have sacred scripture to back them up:

    Hare Krishna moon hoax proof

    “… The Vedic account of our planetary system is already researched, concluded, and perfect. The Vedas state that the moon is 800,000 miles farther from the earth than the sun.”

    Well, there you have it. Too far, no point even trying.

  116. joe

    Couldn’t we just use Google Moon to see the landers?

  117. It's a TRAP!

    An the rainbows in my sprinkler system PROVES without a doubt they are putting something in the water!

  118. Peter B

    Dean J said: “Occam’s Razor; what if a small percentage of the moon photos were touched up or faked, in order to get better publicity for the Apollo Program? This seems to be the middle ground that fits all the data.”

    What data is there that *any* Apollo photos were touched up or faked? The closest to touching up any photos experienced was cropping or being pushed (I think that’s the term) to bring out details in under-exposed frames.

  119. Jya-Ja Binks Killer

    D’oh! A bit late now (sorry) but when I said :

    “Example. Alpha Centauri the nearest star (quite like the Sun but a double) appears as a first mag star (the third brightest star, actually it has a negative zero mag technically speaking) from our skies as seen from its distanceof 4.3 ly off but put it 10 ly off and it’d be fourth magnitude and among the fainter stars visible to unaided human eyes.”

    I was obviously (hopefully obviously) meaning 10 Parsecs & NOT 10 light years. I blame that error on Jya Ja Binks. :-(

    Greg in Austin THx for saying on August 13th, 2008 at 2:59 pm :

    “According to one of the books (can’t say which one at the moment), the author came up with a clever way to support Han Solo’s claim he made the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs.

    Kessel was a spice planet located near a cluster of black holes. In order to get there, you had to skirt around them, going the long way, to keep from getting pulled in by the enormous gravity. The faster your ship, the closer you could skirt around the black holes, therefore going the shortest safe distance.

    It was clever, if not entirely possible.”

    Cool. Hadn’t read that. 8)

    Can you say which book that’s in now? ;-)

  120. amphiox

    Deepak:
    I’m afraid that even if we managed to do what you suggest, many of those moon hoaxers would come back claiming they were drugged, or hypnotized, or that the trip was some elaborate set-up or something.

    These people have “reality-aversion” syndrome. Looking at reality causes physical pain for them. They’re self-medicating.

  121. Jya-Ja Binks Killer

    Just a question – or thought – & no disrespect to anyone but the lunatic hoax conspiracists but :

    Did the Apollo astronauts take any photos in false colour – using Infra-Red cmaeras or anything like that – on the Moon?

  122. Peter B

    Jya-Ja Binks Killer asked: “Did the Apollo astronauts take any photos in false colour – using Infra-Red cmaeras or anything like that – on the Moon?”

    Yes. The crew of Apollo 16 took an ultra-violet telescope to the Moon with them. With it they took photos of the Earth and stars. The photos can be used as evidence that the telescope, and, by extension, the astronauts, were on the Moon: the Earth is in the correct location against the background stars as would be seen from the Moon, and the photos show features which have been replicated subsequently, but which were novel at the time. In other words, NASA had no way of safely faking the photos.

  123. Mark

    Shhh, don’t tell Google Earth!

  124. Ted Henderson

    Is it possible for Nasa or someone else in the near future to send a exploring craft similar to what they sent to Mars, to orbit the moon and simply send back some live pictures of the moon and moon mission artifacts that should still be visible to see. I means if we can see images of the surface of Mars, why hasn’t there been at least one mission or ongoing mission to orbit the moon and send back all varieties of pictures back to earth for study. What a wonderful teaching tool that would be for K-12 and college students interested in our solar system. Seems like with the advances in galactic craft, cameras, and video technology that we could learn more about the the surface of the moon that we have ever imagined before.

  125. Shawn

    Though I really don’t support the conspiracy theories, I must say most of you seem arrogant and harsh. You also seem to compare “the world being flat” with the conspirators. IMO this is backwards, isn’t? Wasn’t it the scientific community that thought the world was flat and the conspirators that thought it wasn’t ? You all might be thankful that some people doubt every so called “fact” that is shoved down their throats. Without these people we’d still worship the sun god. Oh, but I bet most of you still worship the ONE GOD, don’t you ? How convienant when math and science can’t answer the questions, the ONE GOD can ? Wow !!!!!! How intelligent..

    Evolution or Creation ? Which is it, boys and girls ? Maybe a little of both. That seems to be politically correct now a days, ain’t it ?

    Who’s old enuff to see major changes in scientific “facts” and/or theories ? I give it less than 200 years before Einsteins theories are overturned or “modified”. Read a little more history and put yourselves in the proper groups at those periods. Now who thinks the worlds flat ? Maybe a few leeches will cure Herpes, huh ?

    So, let’s beat up on the little retarded kid down the street..OOHHH.. Makes me feel so much smarter.

    I for one, what to hear what the retarded kid has to say. Let’s send all the scientists that can’t think out of the box to the moon. Then maybe we can get something done.

  126. Abe

    @ Chris

    With that candle on the moon bit you were talking about? I just heard that comment recently about the Keck observatory on the discovery channel on “Planet Science: Deadliest Planets”. If they do boast the claims that they can see something as small, dim, and discreet as a candle on the moon, why don’t they try it?

  127. Alan

    Hi, please view postings by ArcAngel4Myke on youtube, which analyze the real fakeness of actual photos released by NASA. And they are not talking about shadows and lighting this time, but something more astonishing.

    There are other suggestions which attempt to hammer home the assertion that NASA really did land humans on the moon, but they had to make fake footage to cover up the alien structures. If they did actually made it there, they could have taken real footage selectively. Also, why would the aliens stop and stay on the moon, as if they were trying not to be discovered ? The unmanned probes which actually made it there would have observed them, and they would be out of business.

  128. Dan

    Hubble, last year took a series of photos of the mars lander.
    The resoloution in these picture were so good that you could see the tracks from the mars lander which is only 3 meters wide.
    Considering that mars is a lot futher away from earth than the moon and has an atmoshere I’m sure that if you pointed hubble at it you would be able to it.
    The apollo lander is about 25ft wide and on the moon has no atmoshere.
    I advised you to also take a look at google moon, which shows pictures taken of the moon. When you look at apollo 11 you’ll notice it has no luna lander there proving the point.

  129. Dan, it wasn’t Hubble hat took the images of the rover, it was the HiRISE camera on board a spacecraft orbiting Mars itself.

  130. nick

    Lots of the people who say that we didn’t land on the moon aren’t talking about the Apollo space missions in general, it’s that in a bid to beat the Russians the first landing was faked.

  131. europeano

    To me all footage and pictures could have been faked and it seems that at least for part it quite probably. That does not proof that the man was not in the moon directly.

    The more solid proof based on the reflecting mirrors also can be challenged as such since the soviets were able to install such mirrors as part of unmanned missions. Thus to say that those mirrors are a definitive proof of the manned landing would be the same as saying that the rusians also landed. I hope most in both sides of the moon real-hoax would disagree with that, right?

    In conclusion, is a matter of believing in it or not. Never 100% sure but rather would bet for hoax since: (1) I do not BELIEVE the technology was there and then (perhaps not even now for a single safe and successful manned mission) and (2) there was a very strong political motivation and politicians lie, at least more than average; would not have been the first time and certainly not the last (you can think your own examples).

  132. Louie

    wow.. well its good to know that there is no optical lenses or scopes that can zero in so closley on the surface of the moonamd objects so small…now that the conspirators know this is a fact… did anyone happen to tell that to Google earth? Or the Gov satellites that can zoom in on my house and car? Maybe they missed that memo…

  133. amphiox

    Louie: Commercial and government satellites are in EARTH ORBIT, looking at EARTH. Go look up the relative distances, for a start! We don’t have satellites with that kind of capability orbiting the Moon right now. We could send one, for a price, and one day we probably will, as part of a larger overall research plan. But no one’s going to go to that trouble and expense just to debunk a bunch of crackpots.

    europeano: Yes, politicians lie. But the other eternal constant in human affairs is that politicians GET CAUGHT in their lies. It would have been harder technically and socially to keep the hoax going for these last three decades than it would have been to land on the moon for real. The technology to get to the moon is actually not that complicated. It’s just very expensive.

    As for the mirror experiment, the Russian version failed rather quickly because they used a robotic lander, and it was unable to place the mirrors with the appropriate level of precision. The US experiment is still going strong because human beings were there to make sure the mirrors were properly placed, taking into account all the unexpected vagaries of the terrain, as they encountered it.

  134. Jumie of Planet Jumble

    I saw the lunar lander as I past the moon on my way to your planet. Funny thing though, there was a sign with a Lion that said MGM. HHHMMM wonder what that means human? Men indeed went to the moon, but they couldnt get back. So they opened a taco stand. Very good tacos. Gave me gas though. Now what we we talking about?

    I reject your reality and substitute my own. :)

  135. amphiox, you say that the russian mirrors don’t work because they failed years ago?… but scientist today still using them:

    http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/1-16-2002-9332.asp

    here more technical information about all mirrors on the moon by the same lab:

    http://www.physics.ucsd.edu/~tmurphy/apollo/lrrr.html

    Perhaps you could put a link to your source?

    Although you can say that the Russian mirror performance is poorer than the US ones in some respects, as described above, is more due to the mirror technology use than placing accuracy itself.

    All those mirrors are designed so that the return the light to the source regardless of incidence angle (within some limits of course) thus they do not need to be placed very carefully by hand to do their job. In fact the russian mirror were never placed themselves, they are mounted on the mobile exploring modules (ie. there is no need to imagining a late 60′ early 70′ robotic hand trying to place them on the ground with precision).

    Russian tried to place two but only one works because the other was lost. A moon landing defendant could say that it would be an indication supporting the requirement of placing mirror by hand to assure success. Nevertheless of 6 manned Apollo mission that would have landed on the moon only 3 seem to have placed currently working mirrors based on the website above. Could anyone find another reference to see whether that count is complete? Please include link to source if so… Let assume it is complete for now … Why would not try to place relatively un-expensive mirrors in all missions (specially if you did it from the first one). A hoax proponent could argue that Apollo may have had a similar error rate than the Russian using a parallel unmanned approach.

    You also say that politicians [always] GET CAUGHT in there lies? If ever a politicians had got away with a lie… you would never know about it, would you? Your statement is simply impossible to test; ironically it is even less possible that testing the moon landing, however the later is far TOOO EXPENSIVE as you mention. Thus they cannot GET CAUGHT for SURE unless some body chips in a big sum for only that, right?

    That price would always be a very effective and convenient shielding against conspiration theorist, of course, only if the moon landings were a hoax.

  136. Cellular Residue

    YOUR MATH IS ALL MUMBO JUMBO……

  137. Oldskool

    Wake up peeps! It’s so fake it beggars belief!
    Never mind the mathematical jargon, what did the astronauts wear that protected them so perfectly from killer radiation?
    Tin foil???
    Behave!
    Dig a little deeper and open your mind. Before you see how, you have to see why then all things become clear.

  138. Jeff S.

    I believe that Phil is underestimating the importance of the LRO getting close ups of the lunar landers, etc. He thinks that the moon hoaxers will still be blocking their ears and not hearing; maybe so for some of their hard-core leaders. But for the rest of us on the fence, evaluating the arguments, actual current photos of the moon landers will be HUGE HUGE HUGE evidence in favor of the moon hoax deniers. It’ll cinch it for me, and I’m already leaning toward believing they landed on moon.

    If nothing else, I doubt Buzz Aldrin would have punched that guy if the guy was totally off base. Because if the moon hoaxers were correct, Buzz would have had a guilty conscience and never punched him. Besides, what fighter plane jock would ever LIE about a feat like this? Never , that’s when. Their is an absolute ethic among fighter pilots that they never lie about their accomplishments.

  139. Tremir

    If someone mention the above I apologize for repeating but I didn’t have time to review all the comments to article. While I find no flaw in your math for size of object that can be identified, I believe you failed to consider the biggest thing that astronauts left behind that should be visible.

    The Rover Tracks

  140. Tom

    Funny….I can see rover tracks on mar but no buggies on the moon. That, in of itself, is proof that something smells fishy about this moon landing.

  141. Mark S

    I must say I am not sure which side of this to believe…

    I do know a little about photography and lens crafting though. It is possible that the Hubble lenses cannot photograph something as close as the moon but can do very well with Mars (different focal points).

    Another deep thought I had about the NASA photos of the moon and the shadows is this: The moon landing hoax people are using their knowledge of what light and reflection and shadow are like on earth. Perhaps on the moon these variables are different. Just a thought….

    I hope I know the truth about this before I die… it really bugs me.

  142. discovery

    I saw the Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters which was supposed to debunk the moon hoax theories. They rotated a flag on a pole inside a room with a vacuum, and supposedly “proved” that in a vacuum the flag would keep ‘waving’ as if in the wind. The problem was the demonstration proved just the opposite..it didn’t ‘wave’ at all, and in fact just took a few extra seconds to fall down. I didn’t believe the moon hoax theories before watching this documentary, whose arguments were either unconvincing or seem to use “straw men” argument techniques.

  143. Joey

    today is the 4oth anniversary of the historic moon walk.

    I am a moon hoax believer.

    1. Van Buren Belt is problamatic. I was a Radiation Tech in the Navy.

    2. The moon race took what 8 years(1961 JFK speech to the 1969 landing) with technology which is very primitive compared to todays standards. It only took from 1963 to 1969 to design, build, and land on the moon with the apollos series. Not long with primitive technology. Then answer me why with all of superior technology we have now, why is it going to take until 2020 to reach the moon again?

    3. China is planning to put a man on the moon before then.

    4. As for Buzz Aldrin, punching the guy? Well the guilty pig squeals first….in this case the strikes first. Guilty people tend to react more aggressively then innocent people.

    5. Diverging shadows is a problematic as well.

    6. Why would Astronauts lie? Especially ones that are ex-Naval Pilots? The answer is national security.

    7 The Russians beat us at every milestone.
    Russia launched a missile first into space
    Russia put an animal in space first.
    Russia orbited the Sun first.
    Russia performs first hard land on the moon first.
    Russia orbits the moon first and takes the first pictures (70% of surfaced mapped)
    Russia puts first man into space
    Russia puts first woman in space
    Russia performed the first space walk
    Russia is first to hard land on Venus
    Russia is the first to soft land on the moon
    Russia puts the first satelite to orbit the moon first
    Russia is the first to gather data about Venus
    Russia performs the first space docking

    USA puts first satelite in space
    USA puts man on the moon first

    For some reasons the Russians decided not to go to the moon. WHY? Any super power that could establish a base on the moon would have the ultimate air space superiority.

    Good night.

  144. JJ M

    Tom, do you think the photos of the rover tracks on Mars were taken by HST? They were taken by the Orbiter. I’d venture to say that if the Orbiter were over the moon you would see the lunar vehicle tracks.

  145. Stein

    So If the Orbiter can see the surface of the moon – wny couldn’t it see the lonar landing frame? Or the flag? And isn’t it odd that the tracks are not gone, when NASA and all other anti-moon-hoax people have proclaimed for 40 years that “collisions with foreigh objects have erased the lunar landing frame”. Funne how these foreign objects have choosen not to hit the walking tracks.

    And why does these pictures come today and not 35 years ago? Why haven’t NASA shown 100.000 pitures of the same, but just one? It is a digital camera run on solar power that sends directly to the earth…is it too hard for NASA to use paintshop on som many pictures?

    And finally, how the hell can the most important tape NASA have be erased? It is like Mona Lisa dissapearing in a cleaning process…it is something that just does not happen – except if you want it to.

    I look forward to seeing the Chinese “orbiter” take the same pictures.

  146. Avon

    Well i arrived here a little late i was looking at google earth – moon and was thinking it was a little suspicous that i cant actually see any of the luna landing equipment from any of the luna landings except on 3dmodels and thought id have a scout around to find out why which brought me to this site… im not some genius nor am i some crazy conspiracy theorist type but i do believe that theirs sufficent evidence along with some very suspicous circumstances for anyone to be swayed either way with this thing, i personally dont believe the luna landings took place 40 years ago because of two simple little things no crazy alien theories or nonsense about a waving flag:
    A) the footage and photos until recently which have been “sharpened” looked like something i filmed in my garage

    And B) i find it hard to believe that America had more advanced technology 40 years ago that what China has today as their still unable to land people on the moon and are saying it could take another 10 years + for them to be able to do so

    after readig all the nonsense coming from both sides of ths argument with All the bullcrap aside those 2 things alone put doubt into my mind like i said all u people saying were crazy, unrealistic, sad etc etc for not believing this actually happened are VERY biased im entitled to an opinion just the same as everyone else and half of your argument on here is just slating people that dont believe whatever YOU would like them to just because some one doesnt agree with u doesnt mean their sad little geeks dedicating your lives to prove some one else wrong … (hypocritical considering the length and detail as to which some of u have gone into)

    All the boffin science aside those two simple facts put doubt into my mind, i dont think that makes me crazy or unrealistic as you people would make out.

  147. Suyapa

    Listen, my father John Luke Picard told me that in the future all human beings will be one in all and all in one; or it’s one for all and all for one…? Humm…any way, my dad knows best. lol

  148. Becky

    Well i was still undecided about the whole moon landing hoax thing … seem very suspicious to me “that a three year search of NASA’s Archives for the Apollo 11 tapes at the heart of the controversy came up empty and that the tapes were destroyed” convenient and july 17 2009 nasa published pictures of the supposed moon landing sites, on these pictures from nasas own website the moon landers look nothing more than a spec its impossible to tell what they are and yet they claim thy can see astronaut footpints from them lol go check for yourself http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/multimedia/lroimages/apollosites.html
    if i was nasa i wouldnt of bothered myself postng these images looks like something ive made on paint.

  149. fermatsenigma

    Sad to think that the only hard evidence of America’s short walk on the Moon is the litter that was left behind…lol.

  150. matt

    you guys will all have red faces in the future when it is common knowledge that the landing was a hoax.

  151. Jont

    Possibilities?
    Other countrys followed the moonlanding. Only thru radio transmitions right? So lets just say i send a bouncer to the moon? A unmanned ship that i use as an relay… Everyone would think id be at the moon :) nice…
    The laser they put on the moon… could have been placed with a robot, or could just be the lander itself. nice…
    Its funny to see how close mythbusters came to actually faking it xD alltough they did not have a budget of 30billions?

    http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00554/ST_Books_554832a.jpg
    He is in the shadow… and sure… light from the ground bounces up… but why is the top of him bright as day then? From the stars? From earth? nope :(

    http://martianchronicles.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/moon-walk-49807-lw.jpg
    Why is the terrain getting darker furhter away from him? its supposed to be as bright everywhere…

    Another question i have: Is there any picture of an astronaut with earth behind them? Taken from the moon… Or werent they able to see the Earth either?

  152. muriem

    About the long shadows theory. I’m not an expert to hubble, but I do own a small amateur telescope (aprox. 6 inc). There are extra filters to equip before observing the moon (or a much heavier one for the sun), otherwise the intense radiation it would damage your eyes (even for the moon). I don’t know how the hubble electronic is equipped, but since its not designed to look at the moon (or the sun), I suppose looking at a moon other than at new moon is likely the last thing it would do anyway.

    @John, the earth was just not in possition very low at the horizont. Think about it, how many Photos you got with you AND the moon on the same photo? And note, no they weren’t able to stand on top of a mountain or a tower for this. Aren’t there enough “earthrise” pictures taken from the moon? (Just google “earthrise”)

  153. It was faked, pretty obvious. And when the US actually goes to the moon legitimately, they will plant all the evidence needed to make sure everyone believes the Apollo missions actually occurred.

  154. Jimmy B

    Any person that looks at the evidence and makes an intelligent conclusion would say this has been faked. You DO NOT got to the moon after just 10 years since your president declared it happen. And then try to go back after 35+ years. If you did it once with 1969 technology you could do it again and again with technology that is more than 1000 times more advanced. You also DO NOT go to the moon when the Russians (who even by U.S astronauts said had a FAR more advanced space program) said it cannot be done. If it could be done the Russians would have done it first. This was all a PR campaign by the government to show the world that we were better than everyone else. We never went plain and simple.

  155. kev

    All these people who think the usa landed on the moon please WAKE UP it didnt happen.
    Im no brainiac but even i understand the basic political reasons why the usa had to lie to the world.AT that time in human history the usa had to make a political statment showing they were more advanced than the ussr it was a im better than u statment.
    Its pathetic that the usa govenment think they fooled anybody in todays world. The fact is your avrage person today is a lot smarter than the avrage person of 1969 and requrie proof before beliving.
    Just cheack the photos that they say were taken on the moon there all perfect THATS NOT POSSIBLE to prove my point take a normal camara take 30 shots holding the camara at chest hight (the same position the camara was mounted on space suits) and see if you can take perfect pitures.
    Its impossible the spacerace was a huge hoaks .

  156. John Dee

    Has anyone considered, since we are talking about reflections from the moon, that given the abscence of an atmosphere, any reflective surface on the artefacts supposedly remaining on the surface, should provide , as the sun strikes at the appropriate angle a “flash” that should be visible for thousands of miles. There could not possibly be any difficulty locating them with an orbiting explorer. Given the the intensity of the light striking the moon iI doubt that anyone standing on the lunar surface could look at foil on the lander wearing anything less than welders goggles. Go out on any clear day, and look at the moon, if it happens to be visible, bear in mind that you are looking through the Earths atmosphere. That is one very bright place. Now go inside and look at the NASA photographs, and ask yourself, “Whats not right about these pictures?

  157. John Dee

    I fully understand that the artefacts are ten times smaller than the resolution capacity of the Hubble telescope. The point I am hoping to make is that a reflected flash from any metallic or even polished surface should, given the abscence of an atmosphere, be visible from a vast distance . An orbiting explorer viz, the European space Agency or the recent Japanese effort should, I suggest be easily able to record such a flash or even glimmer. Maybe there is a good scientific explanation why this is not possible, I’d like to know.
    There would be much kudos for any nation in being the first to locate and record artefacts left on the moon, after all these years. I can’t see how that would be very expensive as a part of such a programme. Is somebody showing me a printout alleging that the ink “spike” is
    a laser beam return from a reflector on the moons surface therefore evidence of a moon landing by humans? Short answer. NO.
    I am prepared to suspend disbelief, insofar as film not being able to record the stunning carpet of stars in the lunar sky, just look away from the sun. There is no light diffusing atmosphere there.
    I simply cannot believe that the astronauts did not wax lyrical about that display whilst either on the lunar surface on their return to earth. Surely there would have been comments that the photographs fell far short of adequately detailing that astonishing enviroment.
    Much has been made of Buzz hooking the fellow that demanded he swear on a bible that he (Buzz) had been to the moon. O.K. Buzz may have had a bad day. But if all the peskiness of the doubters was getting him down, why didnt he seize the oppurtunity to make a well publicised and definite oath that in fact the lunar landings truly happened.. Perhaps even the next day or the next week when he had cooled down. That would have been very reassuring to a great many people.
    I fully support the idea that “learning is beautifull”, with the qualification that , it depends on what you learn and where you learn it from. Millions and millions of people have been prepared to accept as fact the official story line of the authorities over the millenia, without questioning, to their disadvantage and often horrendous cost. The alternative, i.e. dissent for most of them, until relatively recent times, was unthinkable.
    We, in the wealthy nations, live in relatively safe times, and can express our doubts and challenge the imformation we are given, and are greatly fortunate to be able do so. There is absolutley nothing unreasonable about questioning the veracity of the official account of the lunar landings, on the evidence given thus far.

  158. Pushteen

    Actualy, “the Moon hoax” is a hoax to make story of old NASA success alive … since nothing even close to Moon landing isn’t going to happen soon. Or … ever. Apollo mission itself was a huge financial enterprize, much bigger than the scientific one, the sort of US is not, and most likely will never again be able to accomplish. Only China is and will be.

    Talking about american glory is The Hoax. American dream is over … and out.

  159. John Dee

    If you are at all interested in how it is possible for a motivated authority with reliable cooperation from the media to completely (or almost) hoodwink the majority of a population, then I strongly suggest a good starting point. Access an essay by Larry Burk MD, at the site “Medical Professionals for the Truth 911″. This in no way implies that Dr Burk , believes or disbelieves in the moon landings or even cares, but his intelligent and well informed essay will help to understand how we can be deceived into believing things that are simply, patently untrue.
    There really is no realistic possibility that humans have landed on the moon, or even strayed further than a few hundred kilometres from the Earths surface, and survived, and it is highly unlikely that it will happen in at least the next couple of decades. Sorry but that is just how things are, we’ll all have to get used to it eventually.
    I made reference to Buzz , earlier, and it has occured to me that the reason that neither he nor Neil Armstrong is prepared to swear on the bible that they have been to the moon, is in fact that as true patriots they are not prepared to swear a false oath to the American people. They were required by the Government to make a sacrifice for what they perceived to be for the good of the country and have honoured their promise to their masters. All of the astronauts remain my heroes, fine and highly courageous men, even if used badly by the corrupt authorities.
    They are great humans, and probably never expected the ruse to last more than a few days, the perpeterators of the fraud on exposure being bought to account within a short period of time. As it turns out they, the astronauts ,they have hopelessly overestimated our intelligence. There is no shame in having been deceived for a couple of decades, but for crying out loud, this is the time of the imformation super highway………wakey wakey.

  160. M1Garand

    I’ve noticed that the most illiterate posts (those filled with the most typos, misspelled words, poor punctuation, lazy spellings, etc.) are invariably those of the moon-landing deniers.

    Oderly thoughts lead to orderly expression of those thoughts. The sloppy manner in which many of these “deniers” express their opinions demonstrates all one needs to know about the thinking behind those positions.

  161. John Dee

    Post 173, please refer to post 101. Then establish for yourself the meaning of “invariably” and also “illiterate”……….. I assume that your point is, “If someone challenges an official account of events, and within that challenge is contained a typo or incorrect punctuation,then this is clear evidence that man landed on the moon??????????
    Your post reminds me of the Soviet methodology in committing dissidents to lunatic asylums…………..”This man challenges the official party line, therefore it is evident that he is mad…..case proven”. Or so we were led to believe.
    The sloppy manner that you refer to, might in fact indicate more interest in nub of the argument ,and possibly more realistic conclusions as a result, than the form of presentation.

    If it looks like bull####, smells like bull####, and walks like bull####, then you can spell it with one L and two T’s, it’s still bull####.
    “Moon landing denier”, shouldn’t really be used as an expression until, the “moon landings” have been proven as a “fact”, trust me, you have a lot of work to do.

  162. Radwaste

    I wonder where you were when Apollo 13 blew up – and what you think it was doing.

    Well, no, not really. I don’t want to hear about your Dad getting his first tinfoil hat.

    The Smithsonian has something for you.

    The whole WORLD has been hoaxed! Right?

    Tschaa!

  163. John Dee

    Radwaste, gosh what an articulate and compelling argument. You have convinced me of the error of my ways! What an idiot I have been. More pearls of wisdom ,wise one, please.
    I was so busy at the time, finishing the thesis for my Masters….”Human Guilibillity, Is there no End to it “, I didn’t even notice Apollo 13 “blowing up”.
    The Smithsonian has something for me. Gosh, thats awesome. Will they post it? or will it I need to go there for a presentation.
    Gosh no, the whole world hasn’t been hoaxed, but I have to say there are a few hundred million people out there who claim that on a still night and full moon they can hear Richard Nixon giggling. What a bunch of crazies !!!!!!!

  164. Patricio Cruzat

    Even after such a long time, many articles, reasonings (intelligent and dumb), there’s sitll a large crowd that really believe landings were a hoax. Mind you: the vast majority of people that took part on the process are still alive. There were hundreds of other companies involved (like the one I worked for) that had “inside” info. Thousands of photographs, footage, recordings and lots more. The Soviets (at that time) never tried to expose NASA (can you realize if they had? The entire world laughing?) And those morons still can’t believe! But they ask to swear “over the bible” as if it means something! Oh! it reminds me that they usally believe some stories 2000 years old, with not one witness, about walking over the water, beeing born whithout parents sex, bringing back the dead, and so on. I do not intend to offend or insult who has some kind of creed. I’m just pointing out the criteria conflict on what to believe.

  165. Ken

    “Something that’s always confused me is why Moon Hoaxers don’t believe we went to the Moon, but aliens fly here all the time…”

    I see no reason to put limits on what hypothetical aliens can do. I’ve worked on human engineering teams, though, and I’ve known people who worked at NASA, and it does seem *surprising* that humans would be able to accomplish multiple safe, manned moon landings half a century ago. I don’t know if it seems untrue, but it certainly seems surprising.

    Assume you know nothing about the history of the Apollo project, and watch the film “Apollo 13″. If you don’t know how it turns out, you might reasonably say it’s an obvious fiction. (Yes, it’s dramatized. In actual life there wore *more* challenges they faced than fit in a 2-hour movie.)

    That said, there’s nothing uniting “people who don’t believe in the moon landings” except for the fact that they don’t believe in the moon landings. Whether they believe in aliens or Yahweh or $2-wings-night are no different from any other subset of the population, AFAICT.

  166. Shane

    Moon landings aren’t real. Its that simple

  167. Moon fry

    Should we send a telescope further out into space , turn it and then point it towards the moon to see it better? Baloney! Is Mars far enough from the moon? Should the next mission include a high power telescope to view better pictures of the moon? Can we get one of those so call robot thingy-ma-gigs to do that now…meaning …point to the moon and send pictures back? I’m all for space, but it seems kinda weird that there is an explanation to why I can’t see up close pictures of the moon on the internet. Somebody gotta have some photos stashed somewhere.

  168. riot

    well actually many people do not believe that the moon landing was a hoax, they believe the footage to be faked. Because the true account of what happened on the moon involves the secret masonic funders of nasa who decided what and how much we knew. The actual moon landing involved neal armstrong proclaiming that the eagle had landed as he planted the flag of the Masonic high temple.

  169. Moon fry

    So, you say we went to the moon but are not allowed to see what actually happened up there?

  170. Jack

    So, basically, it won’t work. I couldn’t understand anything else, but I got that part.

  171. Astrofan

    I explained most of this, in an abbreviated version, to a friend of mine who doesn’t believe we went to the moon. His response was: “We ‘went’ a bunch of times all in a row, right? But we haven’t really been in a while. Why not?”

  172. NASA CAN BITE ME

    Wires on the ASTRONOTS — sorry to spoil the surprise
    http://www.youtube.com/user/sergemck#p/a/f/1/23_QdAz2tfY

  173. NASA CAN BITE ME

    They went to the Moon with a dollar store calcular running their electronics — they went before the computer chip was invented? They strapped a magic unfolding car to the ski rack and and invisible tv station? Reeeeeallly? With rotary phone technology. Well, makes you wonder why they can’t go today. I mean, we can only go 1/5th of 1% as far and it is 40 years in the FUTURE and we have nanotechnology. Must be the money. NASA is always so fiscally responsible.

  174. Nile says: “When you see the lander lift off from the moons surface, as seen from the moons surface, notice that the camera pans upwards. Given that we are into the early 60′s here, does anyone have any comment of the state of their technology to have the camera track lift off as well as they do”

    Just saw that in a BBC documentary on the lunar rover (to which that camera was attached). First few missions, the camera didn’t pan at all, and the ascent module shot out of frame almost instantly. They only got the shot with the camera panning up to follow the ascent stage on the last mission–and there was no tracking technology at all. The camera mount was simply signaled from the ground to pan up. They couldn’t just watch the video and manually pan up to follow the module–they needed to send each instruction a couple of seconds before they wanted the camera mount to follow to allow for the time for the signals to get to the moon. The guy who actually set it all up back then was describing it–he didn’t say, but I’m sure he did all those calculations with a sliderule, pencil, and paper–signal lag and any equipment lag, timing with the ascent module ignition, initial panning rate and changes to the panning rate as the module ascended, and whatever else I’m not thinking of. Then he’d just put all those figures into a simple timing program to control sending the signals from the ground.

  175. pauly

    I’d like to know a few things. We can all agree the US is declining as a super power. We no longer can dictate what other 1st worl d countries decide to do. Why is it that NO other country has ever landed on the moon?? take a step back and simply look at it. Was our technology so advance in 1969 that todays leading technical countries dont have the ability that we had 4 decades ago, to go themselves? In other owrds whats stopping the rest of the world from going to the moon??
    –This is my one argumentForget the shadow plauged photos and objects not left behing, the impossible photo angles, the radiation belt, the not so right flag waving, and geographic pohots that match US territories. Why has no one returned? from 1972 until this day, no one. Dont tell me it’s lack of interest and please spare me from the financial side.

  176. jnhks

    The problem with Moon Hoaxers is that they understand NONE of the science behind your explanation here—that’s why the myth continues. They are the ones who cut classes in high school to hang out at the convenience store and smoke weed; then when they hit 30 realized they needed education, so they got an online diploma in Basket-Weaving from some diploma mill.

  177. someguy5

    call me whatever you want but i dont for a second believe we actually put people on the moon.

    Apollo 11……..1 EVA …..2 hours, 31 minutes……(151 minutes)
    Apollo 12……..2 EVAs…..7 hours, 50 minutes……(470 minutes)
    Apollo 14……..2 EVAs…..9 hours, 25 minutes……(565 minutes)
    Apollo 15……..3 EVAs…18 hours, 30 minutes….(1110 minutes)
    Apollo 16……..3 EVAs…20 hours, 14 minutes….(1214 minutes)
    Apollo 17……..3 EVAs…22 hours, 04 minutes….(1324 minutes)

    Total minutes on the Moon amounted to 4834 minutes.
    Total number of photographs taken was 5771 photos.

    Hmmmmm. That amounts to 1.19 photos taken EVERY MINUTE of time on the Moon, REGARDLESS OF OTHER ACTIVITIES. (That requires the taking of ONE PHOTO EVERY 50 SECONDS!)

    back to sleep sheeples

  178. man on the moon

    I like the last post! Open thinker!

    Aside from space science, what’s most amazing is how all these pro moon mission crowds statistically practice a religion with an invisible god, or gods; with no proof what so ever supporting scientific data or non conflicting theory. Still, you have the right to put down others for believing in something that quite frankly has numerous holes. As an atheist I can say most of you are delusional in your beliefs as well, but you will fight to support your beliefs and faith. Shame on you! Truth is somewhat intrinsic in nature when it comes to such topics.

    Regardless of science or the size of your brain, there are way to many suspicious doubts concerning many of the missions. To many for coincidence. I’m not saying it dint ever happen, I just think some pages are missing.

    So we landed on the moon. Ok. Given that, then we have failed as a country for 42 years to further our exploration.

    If we landed on the moon, we are a pathetic race based on our further accomplishments in space.
    If we didn’t land on the moon we are just lairs.

    Supporters, you are really just supporting failure.
    I would rather of just made it up.

  179. Ricky

    The McDonald Obseratoty routinky bounces a laser on the moon placed by Apollo astronauts. It seems the hoaxers forgot about that! But I guess an alien placed it their in the exact position. By the way the purpose of this is to measure changes in the Earth-Zmoon since the moon is slowly pulling away.

  180. Christopher Robert

    Just send the Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter out there and the Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter will be able to take digital photographs and thereby give us hard evidence that the Apollo landing craft still exists. This will silence the skeptics, in much the way that Obama’s birth certificate silenced Donald Trump. The truth won’t lie.

  181. Ken

    If we have satellites that can read your license plate number it does not make sense that we cannot see these artifacts. Unless they do not exist.

  182. Nige

    How Convenient…

    Send a telescope into space that cant see the places Man has been. After all going to the moon in the 60’s and 70’s was like jumping on a bus….
    Strange we cant get anyone out of earth’s obit since.

  183. Mike LVNV

    The photos I have seen of the landing craft wouldn’t pass a routine city inspection for building safety on earth. Those craft are a joke. I like the site, “wagging the moon doggie.” It takes on so many falsehoods about the moon landing and logically shows their error.
    What I really like is that NASA has lost all of the original footage of the moon landings. How do you lose something like that?

  184. Maniac

    The problem with Hubble shooting a photo of the moon landing site is not a problem of resolution, but more of the problem of those who choose to think they are oh so much smarter. They are so smart that they think without their hand int he moon landing project, it had to be impossible and must be fake.

    So, even if Hubble could take a photo of the moon lander, they will just say that the photo is doctored, the image of the lander itself is pasted onto the picture of moon surface.

    One proof that satisfy all my doubts is from Soviet Union, which was in space race against USA, they WOULD LOVED TO expose any fake landing by USA if there is any with very solid proof, such as RADAR tracks, optical tracking and so on. Think about it, if you are the loser of a race and you find the winner had cheated or even FAKED the victory, you’d expose him. Not to mention it would be great communist propaganda to feed their own citizen, instead of the insufficient food and substandard products.

    I believe both side know that if they faked any major milestone, the other will easily expose them, thus they tend to do it for real.

    Why we can’t get people out of orbit since then? Cuz citizen of US of A choose that, and that their own need, and improving their own lives are much more important than a pissing contest against soviet union. Of course you can still leave orbit, as long as you have enough money to throw at the technology and fuel, but do you really want to do that, and do you really have that much disposable income for that?

  185. Why do engineers for rocketdyne (built the Saturn-5) say every test ever done on the lunar modules was a complete failure, almost killing Neil Armstrong in one test. They say it is a joke to think any of the equipment tested for landing on the moon would ever work?

  186. Maniac

    Because we got winds on earth, making it very difficult to fly anything that’s designed to fly in vacuum and does not have high performance computer to do automatic compensation. Ever wonder why marines only put their top pilots into harrier jets? Same reason, they will DIE if they are not the top pilot, and even top pilots sometimes get killed by the complicated hover system.

    Guess how lunar module does the flying?

  187. LAD

    I once had a middle-aged Russian man over doing a cleaning service in my house. He was very articulate, and still seemed quite a Russian patriot.

    Somehow, I casually mentioned the Moon Landings to him. He paused, smiled and shook his head, and confidently proclaimed, “No, you see…that never happened. It was faked. Don’t worry, it will all come out someday.”

    He then cited evidence about something to do with the speed of TV signal transmissions. But his confidence in the whole matter was unnerving. I wonder if the old USSR schools propagated this to him?

  188. Mitchell

    resolving power – ability to discern two closely spaced identical objects as two closely spaced identical objects (and not as a single entity). Alternatively: separation distance of two “pinholes” against a lit background resolvable as two separate point sources.

  189. Thomas

    And now the LRO (moon orbiter) actually has photos of that lander, the rover, and the tracks created by the last lunar landing in ’72. And with how close it is, they still have to zoom in on it pretty close for clarity, showing just how small it actually is and how impossible it would be to see any other way. Cool stuff.

    Link below.
    Go to 4:55 of the video if you don’t want to watch the whole thing.

    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/03/15/nasa-video-shows-moons-45-billion-year-evolution/?intcmp=features

  190. peter piper

    It seems strange that we are able to produce optics in satelites that are able to read the newspaper somone is reading on the ground , but not spot a lander on the moon.

  191. Maniac

    So, where’s that spy satellite’s photo of proof that shows the prints on the newspaper? Or ar you going to point to some paranoid website that cites only “someone’s word”?

    Also, spy satellite also often fly at extremely close distance to get better resolution of the target, how far is the moon away from earth again? and how far is it away form the Hubble telescope?

  192. Cassiuss

    NASA has already released video where you can visably see past lunar landings.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iSZMv64wuU

    2: 30 to be exact.

  193. Russell Bateman

    Resolving power 101 great article iv seen craters 5km wide in my 8″ scope with 5/5 seeing .The LRO took photo’s of the landing sites and you can clearly see the buggy tracks, descent stage, and foot prints funny how the Moon hoax still sticks around Mr Armstrong should have wrote “Armstrong was here July 20th 69″ in giant letters on the lunar sand :-)

    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/news/apollo-sites.html

  194. Craig

    Well then, I guess we just need to go back to the moon and look. It’s the only way to be sure.

  195. I have looked at this and to be honist there are no landings. There is a satalight going about the moon every few days. It is mapping out the landscape. The backside as I understand it it top secret. This is more to do with a anomaly that can not be sent out with out some review. I wont say a lot hear but we are not alone. The main reason we couldent go to the moon has to do with how high the radiation is in the belts over 400 miles. is a radiation well over 10 rads a min. No human can take that much radiation with out protection like a led body sute. This would make the person blind from the led over head. Basicly go in a led box.. There is no way to know with out testing how much rads there are on the moon. Because there is no protection on the moon the backside is the best bet to lower the radiation. The kicker for me is the speed of the orbater was going at mock 4 so how in the blue blazzes did the lander go from 0 to mock 4. hmm.. It dont add up. Even if they used the moon to speed them up it would take at least a day to do that. You know they skipped that part of the craft hooking back up. and the orbeter did not slow down unless they wanted to use fule that they did not aparently have fule for. The best part obout space it lets you keep going and going and going. lot of problems with this.

  196. Maniac

    Well, we can provide all the evidence in the world, and those “Doubters” will still make up excuses trying to claim (they don’t prove, they just claim) moon landing didn’t happen.

    Like I said, those people more than likely believe that they are so smart that lunar landing could not have happened without them being the chief designer, builder, and lead astronaut that made the first step on the moon.

    Like I stated before, large radars are all over the world, and it would not be too hard for any of them to send the tracking information to a local math wiz to calculate where is that darn rocket going to go.

    Ballistics, my dear Watson~~

  197. protowhalepig

    @211: Thanks for the laugh. Let me guess: you’re home-schooled, right? Wait…that’s not fair. I’m sure some home-schooled people can spell “mach” and “fuel” and “lead” and other challenging four-letter words…

  198. There is a website where you can now see the Apollo 11 landing site and the “remnants” left behind, including the footprints of our astronauts.

    http://www.space.com/14874-apollo-11-landing-site-moon-photo.html

  199. Tired of them

    No amount of proof will convince these people, other than perhaps sending themselves to the moon to prove it can be done.

    Don’t bother discussing with such idiots. Some problems are better solved with violence.

  200. Samson

    We were in a race against time with former Soviet Union. Soviet scientists were also in the race and came to a conclusion that it was going to be a very expensive and dangerous manned mission to the moon, so they canceled the program altogether. Keep in mind that the Russians were much further ahead in terms of space exploration, having put the first satellite Sputnik in space, having put the first man Yuri Gagarin in space, having put the first unmanned moon probe around the moon.

    But Americans, being more clever than the intelligent Russians, decided to find an alternate method of sending a man to the moon. The answer was to send unmanned rockets with robotic probes to collect moon rock, while at the same time film the local American astronauts in a secret facility somewhere in Nevada/Arizona.

    What was left behind on the moon was remnants of an unmanned mission. The astronauts were safe on earth and were indoctrinated with things to answer when asked how it felt like when they stepped on the moon.

  201. lee

    Yeah, how silly of ANYONE to think the government would lie about anything!!! We should all blindly believe and follow everything the government tells us… I mean after all its true, it was on the TV.

  202. Maniac

    Yeah, how DARE anyone think that some idiots would lie to them on the web, in the books or on TV. Not only did humans never reach the moon, even all the shuttle missions, mir space station, international space station are all a big fraud.

    Damn, even airlines are a fraud, you never FLY in the sky, they merely rock the plane and drug you so that you can be shipped in refrigerated containers by container ships to your destination then thawed on another rocking plane so that you thought you flew there.

    Earth is not only flat, but there are DRAGONS on the edge, and you WILL fall into a bottomless abyss if you DARE to go beyond the border of our FLAT earth.

  203. robert

    Low orbit satellites could easily resolve the question of NASA artifacts on the moon but that will not happen. Not because NASA hasn’t mapped every inch of the moon at close proximity, they have. The reason is there are no Apollo artifacts on the moon because there were no landings.

    Another myth is that from the moon, stars are not visible. NASA claims this is because the photos were taken during the day. However a day sky on earth is totally different from the day sky on the moon. From the moon the sky is still pitch black and stars shine brightly in the sky except in the NASA photos.

    There are hundreds of other facts the landings were faked. I don’t have the energy to explain it all and get into the typical ad hominem, faulty cause and false dilemma nonsense attacks always spouted to defend the NASA lie.

    However, for anyone with a average or above average IQ, do the research and you will find the truth.

  204. trooper123

    If we have spy satellites that can view a person in perfect detail why not spin one round, fly it closer to the moon then zoom in on a landing site and take a picture?

  205. Maniac

    Perhaps you never have to properly adjust exposure on a camera? Perhaps you prefer to superexpose earth and get a nondescript blue-white blob and stars in the sky?

    Spining a spy satellite around? Fly a spy satellite closer to the moon? Have you got any common sense? Do you know how high the spy satellite are from earth surface, and how far is the moon from earth surface?

    Thank you for giving me insight into moon doubter’s level of understanding and how much common sense you guys have.

    Thank you again for making my day.

  206. lee

    for me all you folk who believe man set foot on the moon can produce all the maths you want, what it (boils) down to is that its bad enough living on earth with the radiation which the sun emits to our planet and it is protected,,in a way, but on the moon there is no protection from the heat or radiaton, man could not exist for more than 5 mins from landing on the moon you would have to be in lead casing about 10ft thick to stand any chance of survival,plus the cooling systems in those suits 40yrs ago wouldnt cool a couple having sex let alone walk around on the moons surface.sorry guys radiation heat and the rest of what the moon throws at you im sorry but man could not survive there and the scientists know this, and lasers i use lasers every day to measure distance to the golf pin you dont need mirrors for lasers shoot a laser at anything and you will get a reading back at you.. i await a witty replay from one or more of you socalled (clever) guys.

  207. Radwaste

    Lee: what are the units of measurement for radiation exposure, and what are the actual rates in translunar flight and on the Moon’s surface?

    Bonus question: How long do astronauts actually stay in the International Space Station?

  208. Maniac

    Lemme guess his answer:

    Radiation unit: Shots of Rum, each shot is 30ml of radiation.

    Neil Armstong is dead because of over exposure to high does of Rum.

    Bonus: They don’t, they put quality blow-up dolls in there to make it look like someone is there.

    PS: No disrespect to Neil Armstrong, but that’s what I think Lee is thinking.

  209. Wazman

    Its so amazing how so many people out there think that america was so backwards (technology wise) that they couldn’t solve the problem of how to get a man on the moon. People are saying that america didn’t have the know how or the knowledge, but they could build ships, aircraft, nuclear weapons etc. People say that man couldn’t survive outside of the Van Allen Belt? how do they know this if no one has been there before? Its really sad that some people have so little faith in american ingenuity and the ability to get the job done. It is a truly sad day indeed.

  210. Maniac

    Most choose to put their faith in nondescript web sites that tosses out oddball stuffs like man never went to the moon. Just like how those people gets duped into Heaven’s Gate and other stupid cults and possibly died.

    I could not fathom why they could not believe Neil any more than why they choose to believe there’s a space-bus trailing in a comet passing us by, or those thaten (sp?) craps. Maybe they like Fantasy-Fiction better than non-fiction.

  211. Phil

    Hi, thanks for the info, which brings me to dare to ask the following question:

    Using today’ s open source software, processor clusters and techniques such as temporal super-resolution and the amateur astronomer community, how many 6″ pointing telescope at the moon with hires webcam sync over the internet from America (US/CAN) would be required to synthesize enough aperture even for a second to snap a 1m res pic of the lander? Can 10o’s of concurrent observers beat the odds? It is good to dream…

  212. Kim

    “Lean not upon your own understanding…ignorance is well and truly blessed”. (Neil Peart, Rush, 2012). If you don’t know that this is a derisive lyric, then look up some other of his lyrics; you’ll see that he doesn’t ‘suffer fools gladly’. ;)

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