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View Full Version : A way to prove or disprove lunar landings



Goody
2006-Sep-25, 08:11 PM
I was wondering, with all this talk about NASA not landing on the moon, do we not posess a telescope strong enough to show us the flags, lunar buggies etc... that were left on the moon ?

thank you for any insights. Goody ! & @;)

Tobin Dax
2006-Sep-25, 08:22 PM
No, we don't. None of our telescopes can see something that small on the moon.

jseefcoot
2006-Sep-25, 08:45 PM
Is such a telescope technologically possible? I heard the Hubble can't view the moon because it's too bright. Are there similar obstacles when trying to resolve that level of detail with a different type of scope?

antoniseb
2006-Sep-25, 09:29 PM
Is such a telescope technologically possible?

Currently a ground-based telescope that powerful is not technically possible. To see the flags would require better than one meter resolution at 400 million meters. A telescope that could do that with difraction limited performance would need to be about 400 million wavelengths in diameter. if the wavelength we're using is 400 namometers we could possibly see a one-pixel flag with a 160 meter telescope.

Such a telescope would be a fantastic tool for astronomy, but even if id did show the flags, rovers, lower stages of lunar modules, seismometers, etc, people who are serious about the hoax thing will claim that all images showing these things are doctored.

Nowhere Man
2006-Sep-25, 09:44 PM
Hubble has no problem looking at the moon. There's just no point in doing so. Give hubble moon to Google and see what you get.

Fred

astromark
2006-Sep-26, 07:34 PM
And that is the point of this argument. Yes there are six lunar module basses still sitting where they were left. Is it three lunar rovers and , a assortment of flags and other equipment including reflector arrays. They are too small for a Earth based telescope to resolve. just be patient. With NASA going back to the Moon and other nations showing an interest. All will be revealed.

Hamlet
2006-Sep-26, 08:16 PM
Is such a telescope technologically possible? I heard the Hubble can't view the moon because it's too bright. Are there similar obstacles when trying to resolve that level of detail with a different type of scope?

Hubble is capable of viewing the Moon and has done so on a couple of occasions. Here's (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/1999/14/) one set from 1999. Here's (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/2005/29/) another set from 2005 that used Hubble to do observations in support of future human exploration.

This (http://hubblesite.org/reference_desk/faq/answer.php.id=77&cat=topten) link is from the FAQ (http://hubblesite.org/reference_desk/faq/) at Hubble Site (http://hubblesite.org/) and answers the question of whether Hubble can see Apollo artifacts. It can't.

BigDon
2006-Sep-26, 08:53 PM
Isn't the point of this thread proving if we've been to the moon or not and not how good the resolution is on our telescopes? We have plenty of other proofs we've been there. All clearly enumerated in other threads and with very good links to places like www.clavius.org. If they won't believe the evidence presented at Clavius they won't believe any telescope run by the Evil Gub'ment.

antoniseb
2006-Sep-26, 08:57 PM
Isn't the point of this thread proving if we've been to the moon or not and not how good the resolution is on our telescopes?

No, the point of THIS thread is discussing the OP's idea for HOW to prove it, which is using our big telescopes to image the moon-landing sites.

Goody
2006-Sep-27, 07:46 PM
Sorry for sounding skeptical, but the NASA run Hubble.....not see any lunar landing sights.....maybe a bit too close to the bone ?

Anyways, I am no astrophysisist, as a matter a fact a geographer, and I am used to working with scale. I have a hard time believing that a piece of equipment that can show me such wonderful images from millions of miles away cannot pick off a site as close as the moon.

Thanks for all you input though. Mike G.

PS, what about non-visual means of capturing the rovers, radar etc....

aurora
2006-Sep-27, 08:17 PM
Anyways, I am no astrophysisist, as a matter a fact a geographer, and I am used to working with scale.

Then you can do the math yourself. Check the FAQ that was linked in a previous message:

http://hubblesite.org/reference_desk/faq/answer.php.id=77&cat=topten

If you doubt the evidence supporting the landings, check the many threads in the Conspiracy theory section of this forum, and also check http://www.clavius.org/

I would be very surprised if you have any hoax argument that hasn't already been completely addressed.

SirThoreth
2006-Sep-27, 08:29 PM
Sorry for sounding skeptical, but the NASA run Hubble.....not see any lunar landing sights.....maybe a bit too close to the bone ?

More like "the landers are too small".



Anyways, I am no astrophysisist, as a matter a fact a geographer, and I am used to working with scale. I have a hard time believing that a piece of equipment that can show me such wonderful images from millions of miles away cannot pick off a site as close as the moon.

Thanks for all you input though. Mike G.

An easy way to demonstrate the problem would be if you're got a camera with a zoom or telephoto lens. You might be able to focus in and see an ant at your feet if you were standing, but the sameant would be impossible to see a mile away.

Not only that, but you've got the issue of the resolution of the cameraattached to the telescope, as well - whetherwe're talking grains on film (which Hubble doesn't use), or pixels on a digital CCD, if what you're trying to take a picture of is smaller than one of those grains / pixels, you won't get it on an image.



PS, what about non-visual means of capturing the rovers, radar etc....

No clue - similar issue, I'd think.

Tobin Dax
2006-Sep-28, 02:37 AM
Anyways, I am no astrophysisist, as a matter a fact a geographer, and I am used to working with scale. I have a hard time believing that a piece of equipment that can show me such wonderful images from millions of miles away cannot pick off a site as close as the moon.

Those objects are tremendously bigger than the lunar landers, and still appear bigger to us despite their distance.

PhantomWolf
2006-Sep-28, 03:07 AM
I have a hard time believing that a piece of equipment that can show me such wonderful images from millions of miles away cannot pick off a site as close as the moon.

At the distance of the moon, the hubble can resolve to about 90 feet per pixel, the large lunar equipment is 10 feet. Remember those stunning images are of objects light years, and in many cases thousands of light years in size.

yuzuha
2006-Sep-28, 03:40 AM
Even though we cannot resolve the garbage left on the moon via telescope, astronomers and geophyscists from various observatories and universities are still bouncing lasers off the retroreflectors that were left there by Apollo for precise measurements of the moon's distance and continental drift etc.

Goody
2006-Sep-28, 10:49 AM
Thank you friend, bouncing things off the dishes left there, so they can pinpoint the objects.....now who are these geologists getting this data, or is it from NASA ?
I hope that dream of yours works out....profound and lovely image.

antoniseb
2006-Sep-28, 11:50 AM
now who are these geologists getting this data, or is it from NASA ?

It is not just from NASA. These reflectors are used by researchers all over the world. I should point out that some Moon Hoax Conspiracy people claim that these devices may have been put on the moon by robotic probes similar to the Surveyor missions.

ToSeek
2006-Sep-28, 02:00 PM
Anyways, I am no astrophysisist, as a matter a fact a geographer, and I am used to working with scale. I have a hard time believing that a piece of equipment that can show me such wonderful images from millions of miles away cannot pick off a site as close as the moon.

People don't realize just how vast most of the objects Hubble looks at are. Your average spiral galaxy is on the order of 10^19 - ten billion billion - times larger than a lunar module. Even if it's a billion light years away, it's going to appear a thousand times larger than a LM.

Nereid
2006-Sep-28, 02:23 PM
Thank you friend, bouncing things off the dishes left there, so they can pinpoint the objects.....now who are these geologists getting this data, or is it from NASA ?
I hope that dream of yours works out....profound and lovely image.In fact, if you build (or buy) the right equipment, you can do this laser retroreflector experiment yourself.

I'll go further - would you, Goody, be interested in working out, in this thread, with the help of other BAUT members, a description of such 'right equipment', a spec of such equipment, and (maybe) help get some rough estimates of the cost to build/buy such?

Hamlet
2006-Sep-28, 02:24 PM
I stumbled across a very nice web site that directly addresses the questions at hand. Larry McNish at the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (http://www.rasc.ca/) has put together a page entitled: Can a telescope see the Lunar Landers or Lunar Rovers on the Moon? (http://calgary.rasc.ca/moonscope.htm) He provides the data, formulae and explanation of what it would take to actually image Apollo artifacts from Earth and why our current instruments don't have the resolution. He even provides a link to the BA's Fox Apollo Hoax page.

From this we can see that the problem is purely one of optics and not something nefarious.

JohnW
2006-Sep-28, 03:07 PM
Thank you friend, bouncing things off the dishes left there, so they can pinpoint the objects.....now who are these geologists getting this data, or is it from NASA ?
If that's your attitude, would you believe satellite photographs of the LMs if they did exist? Or would you dismiss them as "from NASA"?

Jeff Root
2006-Sep-29, 08:11 PM
Nereid,

It was my understanding that only two observatories use the lunar
laser retroreflectors to measure the distance to the Moon. One is
the McDonald Observatory in Texas and the other is in France.
I will be very happy to learn that I'm wrong, and many other sites
have used the retroreflectors. But I think it requires a pretty big
laser, and typically each laser pulse returns only a single photon
from the retroreflector array to the detector!

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Nereid
2006-Sep-29, 08:33 PM
Nereid,

It was my understanding that only two observatories use the lunar
laser retroreflectors to measure the distance to the Moon. One is
the McDonald Observatory in Texas and the other is in France.
I will be very happy to learn that I'm wrong, and many other sites
have used the retroreflectors. But I think it requires a pretty big
laser, and typically each laser pulse returns only a single photon
from the retroreflector array to the detector!

-- Jeff, in MinneapolisThat may be so ... but what I was proposing is that BAUT members work with Goody, to work out, using publicly available information, just what the requirements are for lasers/telescopes/detectors/post-detection electronics/whatever, to observe reflected laser pulses, from the retroreflectors left on the Moon.

In part I am suggesting this so that Goody (or any other doubter) can actually do the work themselves to get the answers (hard to blame 'NASA' if it's your own work), and partly because discovery learning is a very powerful way to learn.

Oh, and I'm curious to see how many folk are interested in doing this kind of 'online collaborative project'.

But, as Goody hasn't replied, I guess I'll just have to wait.

Goody
2006-Sep-30, 12:34 AM
Sorry to upset those of you apparently who have done their homework. As usual us geographers haven't. Of course using things like GPS and the old compass doesn't compare to the sextant....that you guys use for astronomical observations. Mathematically speaking, I don;t think I'm up for the challenge. If of course you're asking me to trust the bad astronomer, apparently with no connection to nasa, or wheter there are WMD in IRAQ, let us say I'll take the rest of your words for it that there is no way of using the visual spectrum, or passive methods of determining the whereabouts of the "junk" left there by the Apollo missions.
I am however looking foreward to getting the family a christmas present, a beginners telescope, and exploring the night sky with the kids. Thanks for all the insights, and I look foreward to reading the info about string theory, seeing gravity and the expanding, contracting and living universe.
Ciao for now.

Nereid
2006-Sep-30, 12:03 PM
Sorry to upset those of you apparently who have done their homework. As usual us geographers haven't. Of course using things like GPS and the old compass doesn't compare to the sextant....that you guys use for astronomical observations. Mathematically speaking, I don;t think I'm up for the challenge. If of course you're asking me to trust the bad astronomer, apparently with no connection to nasa, or wheter there are WMD in IRAQ, let us say I'll take the rest of your words for it that there is no way of using the visual spectrum, or passive methods of determining the whereabouts of the "junk" left there by the Apollo missions.
I am however looking foreward to getting the family a christmas present, a beginners telescope, and exploring the night sky with the kids. Thanks for all the insights, and I look foreward to reading the info about string theory, seeing gravity and the expanding, contracting and living universe.
Ciao for now.OK, though perhaps I should have said that the math we will need to do this is quite simple and straight-forward ... in fact, if you are au fait with "the sextant", as a tool + technique for doing real geography, then I'm pretty sure you'd find the math for the little project I suggested a piece of cake.

Maybe some other BAUT member is interested?

Joff
2006-Sep-30, 09:20 PM
A link to get started here (http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2004/21jul_llr.htm), which led me on to here (http://www.lpi.usra.edu/expmoon/Apollo11/A11_Experiments_LRRR.html), showing that the retroreflectors were deployed by Apollo 11, 14 and 15, and another retroreflector is on Lunakhod 2. All four are still returning incident laser pulses. I guess that you need a very tight focus and accurate aiming to hope to detect any returning light.

It appears from this page (http://members.misty.com/don/laserdon.html#b) that the minimum divergence of a laser is going to be something like 1mm per 10-100 metres by firing it through a telescope in reverse. Since the light round-trip time is nearly 3 seconds, you can easily use the same telescope to watch for the return light. This recent article on zdnet (http://blogs.zdnet.com/emergingtech/?p=292)describes how tricky that is.

This page (http://physics.ucsd.edu/~tmurphy/apollo/basics.html) sums up nicely the whole process. Basically these guys are using VERY high power VERY brief pulses to get the ranging information as accurate as possible.

Lurker
2006-Sep-30, 11:56 PM
Why would we waste time trying to prove something that is already well known to be true??

Nereid
2006-Oct-01, 01:24 AM
Why would we waste time trying to prove something that is already well known to be true??Lunar laser ranging (LLR) provides some of the most stringent tests of (some aspects of) General Relativity (GR) - see Clifford Will's 2006 review paper (http://relativity.livingreviews.org/Articles/lrr-2006-3/index.html) (sections 2.1, and most of the sections in 3; there may also be some mentions elsewhere, but those are the main ones).

So, if we could work with Goody on the requirements, we'd not only get some idea about retroreflectors on the Moon, but also some insight into how GR has been tested (and most definitely not found wanting).

Joff
2006-Oct-01, 08:56 PM
One phrase that amused me while illustrating the tricky nature of this undertaking:
We must shoot where the moon will be in 1.25 seconds, while looking at where the moon was 1.25 seconds ago. The opening angle between where we look and where we shoot is typically a little more than 1 arcsecond.The way it's phrased reflects the "continuous pulsing" nature of the APOLLO experiment, since actually we're always seeing the moon where it was 1.25 (+/-) seconds ago. Thus the shooting has to be 2.5 seconds (+/-) "ahead" of the spot as we see it at any given instant.

Since we're not interested in the kind of precision ranging that the APOLLO guys are going for, there's no need for some of the fancier bits of their experiment. For example, if we can send a full 2-second laser pulse tracked to the right spot then that should allow us a lower-power laser and slightly wider divergence. How far across the moon's surface would the beam move in that length of time (assuming that earth rotation has been compensated for)?