Monday, August 28, 2006

Got to Love a Conspiracy

A recent comment left on my blog about this post:

Graham Hesketh & Fiona Mont said...
Why wont Nasa simply photograph the evidence? use the space telescope to photograph the lunar landing sites?

The only concivable reason why not would be because there is nothing there to photograph.

Are you serious? Or are you joking? I'm dying to know!

Well maybe the hoax promoters are right. In case anyone is interested, here are several websites with "evidence" that the lunar landing was a fake:

oh wait...those are the only sites I could find that actually claim hoax. Hmmm...

Well, here's some good rebuttle info: And this Kaysing guy is obviously a nut job. Check out this:
How sad and pathetic to defame the memory of a woman like Christa McAuliffe. I thought this was a funny thing until I started reading some of the bs this guy has said.

Oh, and also on that website is the answer to why the telescope can't photo the landing site:
"7) Why doesn't the Hubble Space Telescope provide proof?

This argument runs along the lines that as the HST can provide images of galaxies millions of light years away, why can't it provide images of a lander on the Moon, which is on our door step?

Bit of a funny question really, anyone with normal eyesight can see the Andromeda Spiral Galaxy easily with the naked eye, and that's over 2 million light years away, yet cannot see a lander on the Moon! As an amateur astronomer of some 40 years standing I have always understood why the HST could not provide images of the lunar landers on the surface of the Moon, but to get the correct figures I checked out the HST site at Hubble Space Telescope Its all down to the size of Hubble's main mirror, which is 2.4 metres. One of the factors of the worth of a telescope is its resolution, the smallest amount of detail it can see, and this depends on the size and quality of the mirror. Hubble's resolution is an amazing 0.048 arc seconds. This is how I calculate the minimum size object that HST can image on the Moon, in as simple a way as I could devise.

HST resolution = 0.048 arc seconds (formula for this is 116 divided by aperture in mm. = 116 divided by 2400)

Visual maximum diameter of full Moon = 31'40" = 1900 arc seconds (a fraction over 1/2 a degree)

Therefore HST can resolve an object on the Moon of (1900 divided by 0.048 ) = 1/39,583 of the Moon's diameter

Actual diameter of Moon = 3476 km

Therefore resolvable object size = 3476 km divided by 39,583 = 87 metres

As the landers are only around 9 metres across it is not possible for the HST to resolve them, they just wouldn't show up on any image of the area under examination. I emailed the HST site to make sure I had got my sums right, explaining why I needed it for this site, and their reply was as follows:

"You are correct. Hubble's resolution is good and can resolve objects and areas as small as 280 feet, (86 metres) which rules out the Apollo debris on the moon. Hope this helps!"

Yes it does! Thanks to the HST Office of Public Outreach.

PS. The current largest ground based telescope is the 10 metre Keck, far bigger than the HST and therefore has a far better resolution of 0.012. But this is a theoretical limit that cannot be achieved through an atmosphere, so the HST, being in the vacuum of space, is still number one."

Anyway, thanks for the comment and thanks for reading. Honestly, I had a lot of fun tonight going through websites to find this info. I had never given the subject much thought and now if ever at a cocktail party ('cause that's somewhere I'm likely to be...not) I can carry on a very intelligent conversation on this topic.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

More like there is no evidence to photograph on the moon!

I am really sorry but they couldn't land on the moon NOW let alone 37 years ago.

The USA cannot even control a gang of rag heads in Baghbad.

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Graham Hesketh landed a cessna 172 on the moon, he had photos to prove it too but the camera was faulty and the pics were all blured.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Tyler said...

Well done, K! Couldn't have done it better myself- which would have involved much unnecessary indignant frothing, depression about the state of humanity's intellectual curiosity, rending of clothes and gnashing of teeth...etc.

Well done. :)

8:10 PM  

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