Hi everyone. Before I continue with this entry, I want to pay homage to my friend Chris Jordan, who first gave a presentation on the ludicrous nature of Apollo hoax theories, and who inspired this entry. He deserves some credit for my desire to write this, and for much of my knowledge of why people are so stupid. Now, on to the show!
Despite the belief of between 5 and 25 percent of people, I can tell you that we have been to the moon. Not only is there overwhelming scientific proof, but the theories themselves are often so ridiculous that only the most gullible and scientifically illiterate people would believe them. Some theories seem plausible, but become debunked upon closer testing and inspection. I will present here a few of the theories, and tell you why they are not true. Hopefully I will get you all to be believers in science.
The main theories usually tend to focus on the photographs released by NASA during the Apollo missions. One theory is that it was fake because the photographs are of impossibly good quality. I think the debunking of this one is simple—if you have good photographs and bad photographs, which would you want to show people? NASA had both good and bad quality photos taken by the astronauts, but OBVIOUSLY they only released the ones of superior quality.
Another problem with the photos, according to conspiracy theorists, is that the footprints on the moon seemed to be too well preserved, considering the fine grains of moon dust. To them, it appears to be as if set in wet sand, which is impossible due to the lack of moisture on the Moon. Indeed, the Moon is drier than the deserts on Earth, but you cannot think of Moon dust as you do Earth dust. On Earth, dust and sand grains are weathered and smoothed out—this does not happen on the Moon, and so the grains are much more jagged, allowing them to stick together better, giving them a consistency akin to “wet sand or talcum powder”, as described by astronauts. If you don’t believe me, watch “Mythbusters”, who did an episode on debunking these theories, and this was one they tested. Case closed.
Another picture issue is that they see crosshairs behind objects. Well, this one is easy to debunk—when bright objects are overexposed, crosshairs appear as it saturates the image and starts to leak out into the black areas. You can actually see this with real images for astronomy research:
Real picture from the COSMOS Field, taken by Hubble. Note the crosshairs, also known as artifacts.
The best theories are the really dumb ones. According to one theory, there was a large solar flare while the crew of Apollo 16 headed to the moon. Not only is there no record of such a flare, but last time I checked, the crew of Apollo 16 were still alive…
Yet another theory is that astronauts could not survive cosmic rays and other radiation sources out in space. It is true that radiation is a serious problem, however NASA isn’t made up of idiots—the aluminum hull of the spacecraft is enough to protect the astronauts. Still, some radiation gets through, and it actually serves as evidence of the mission! Many astronauts suffered similar illnesses believed to have been caused by the radiation. Take that, science-denying filth!
Perhaps the most famous argument is the one surrounding the flag planted by Apollo 11 astronauts, which appears to move in the photographs taken. This is actually an optical illusion, and is explained by numerous sources. In pictures, the flag appears to be rumpled, which seems to indicate movement. In fact, you can look at photos taken at different times by the same camera at slightly different orientation, and see that it is completely motionless. There is actually a 30 minute film in which you notice the flag stay motionless the entire time. When touched by the astronauts, the flag does not wave, but instead swings like a pendulum, due to the absence of air.
In addition to debunking radical theories, there is evidence for the landings that are easily confirmed. The best example of this is the presence of retroreflectors on the lunar surface. Let me explain via diagram:
Convinced? I hope so, for your own good. Face it—we went to the Moon, and it was glorious.
I’m experimenting with drawings (and mouse-over text! yay!) … feel free to comment and tell me what you think! Keep the drawings or go back to the old way of posting? I promise you won’t get spammed by viagra sellers and male enhancement ads if you give your email in order to comment on this. Also, feel free to suggest topics you’d like to see me cover. Thanks, see you for later for some more science!