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Thread: The flag on the Moon

  1. #1
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    The flag on the Moon

    Some people claim the landing on the Moon in July 1969 was fake. I say let’s zoom in and see if there’s really a flag.

    But apparently the flag was blown away when the shuttle left the Moon?

    “The only flag we probably won’t ever see is the first one, planted there by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on July 20, 1969. Aldrin reported it was blown over by rocket exhaust as the astronauts left the moon to return to the orbiting command module.”

    https://astrobob.areavoices.com/2012...-the-moon-yes/

    So in 2019 there is no way to see the flag, its frame or any other remains on the Moon remotely? That sounds fishy...


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    Not certain if resolving something as small as a flag is possible, but there are pics via orbiting satellites of the landing sites and rover tracks.

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    https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/a...ted/index.html plenty of other Apollo stuff that can be seen by the LRO

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    Why does it sound fishy to you. Do you realize the biggest telescope on Earth(Keck Telescope in Hawaii) has a resolution of 10 m. The flag was 1.25 m.
    Not anything fishy for those that research the issue.
    http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/phy...-moon-beginner

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grashtel View Post
    https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/a...ted/index.html plenty of other Apollo stuff that can be seen by the LRO
    Ok so there are pictures of Apollo 11...

    Thanks I did not know!


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    Quote Originally Posted by philippeb8 View Post
    Some people claim the landing on the Moon in July 1969 was fake. I say let’s zoom in and see if there’s really a flag.

    But apparently the flag was blown away when the shuttle left the Moon?

    “The only flag we probably won’t ever see is the first one, planted there by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on July 20, 1969. Aldrin reported it was blown over by rocket exhaust as the astronauts left the moon to return to the orbiting command module.”

    https://astrobob.areavoices.com/2012...-the-moon-yes/

    So in 2019 there is no way to see the flag, its frame or any other remains on the Moon remotely? That sounds fishy...
    It wasn't the shuttle, it was the lunar module.

    If the flag blew over it would be flat on the ground, making it easier to see from above, not harder. The issue is one of imaging resolution, as others have pointed out.

    Grant Hutchison

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    There’s also the possibility that the flags have seriously degraded...disintegrated, some have posited...due to decades of exposure to the sun. Nylon fabrics of the era were pretty susceptible to UV as I recall.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grashtel View Post
    https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/a...ted/index.html plenty of other Apollo stuff that can be seen by the LRO
    It's curious - the LRO images are outstanding, but the single aspect of them that I find profoundly moving are the tracks the astronauts left behind. There's something about those tracks that has a visceral effect on me.

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    [Requisite comment that “shuttle” is not a uniform term for all spacecraft, only the black-and-white airplane-looking thing with the big orange tank and two tiny boosters, there were no “shuttles” used in the Apollo program, but spacecraft of other kinds, in this case, the lunar lander]
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    There’s also the possibility that the flags have seriously degraded...disintegrated, some have posited...due to decades of exposure to the sun. Nylon fabrics of the era were pretty susceptible to UV as I recall.
    I'd guess that even if the nylon is intact, the red stripes will be faded out. Red dyes seem particularly susceptible to fading due to UV.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    There’s also the possibility that the flags have seriously degraded...disintegrated, some have posited...due to decades of exposure to the sun. Nylon fabrics of the era were pretty susceptible to UV as I recall.
    However, there actually is evidence in the LROC images, from long shadows cast at low solar altitudes, that the flags of Apollo 12, 16 and 17 were still "flying" at the time the images were taken. Long sunrise and sunset shadows are bigger and easier to see than the flags themselves.

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2019-Sep-01 at 09:40 PM. Reason: quote for context

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    It wasn't the shuttle, it was the lunar module.

    If the flag blew over it would be flat on the ground, making it easier to see from above, not harder. The issue is one of imaging resolution, as others have pointed out.

    Grant Hutchison
    The rocket would also have blown up dust, which could've covered the blown-over flag. That would make it difficult to spot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I'd guess that even if the nylon is intact, the red stripes will be faded out. Red dyes seem particularly susceptible to fading due to UV.
    Some say there will be little left of the flags. They have been exposed on the surface for c. 50 years and, by now, the material will be completely degraded by UV and micrometeoroids. Probably a pile of dust on the ground.

    It's interesting to think how long the tracks on the surface will last, probably millions of years, but not forever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kzb View Post
    Some say there will be little left of the flags. They have been exposed on the surface for c. 50 years and, by now, the material will be completely degraded by UV and micrometeoroids. Probably a pile of dust on the ground.
    Given that some of them were still casting recognizable shadows a few years ago, they're clearly not reduced to dust just yet.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Given that some of them were still casting recognizable shadows a few years ago, they're clearly not reduced to dust just yet.

    Grant Hutchison
    On that link, some of them seem to be casting shadows but others are not.

    I guess that does mean that the destruction by UV theory is not supported, because you would expect it to be all of them destroyed if that was the cause.

    Then again, is it possible for the orientation of the flag relative to the sun to affect its UV aging rate?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kzb View Post
    The rocket would also have blown up dust, which could've covered the blown-over flag. That would make it difficult to spot.
    Actually, this is an interesting question. The exhaust of the ascent stage would impinge on the descent stage the early part of the ascent, which I assume would have imparted a lateral aspect to the flow. Easy to see how this would affect the flag, but how much would it have affected the regolith at ground level between the module and the flag? By the time the ascent stage had gained sufficient altitude so that the exhaust plume was not entirely diverted by the descent stage, would it still be able to impart sufficient force to scour much of the dust?

    if it did disturb the regolith, and noting that it will move ballistically (i.e. it won't billow/suspend), how much of that disturbed regolith will have such motion that it will settle neatly over the downed flag?

    Not at all saying it wouldn't. - it's just not something I have really thought about in detail & am curious about the mechanics of it all from people with greater knowledge of gas flows than me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGN Fuel View Post
    Actually, this is an interesting question. The exhaust of the ascent stage would impinge on the descent stage the early part of the ascent, which I assume would have imparted a lateral aspect to the flow. Easy to see how this would affect the flag, but how much would it have affected the regolith at ground level between the module and the flag? By the time the ascent stage had gained sufficient altitude so that the exhaust plume was not entirely diverted by the descent stage, would it still be able to impart sufficient force to scour much of the dust?

    if it did disturb the regolith, and noting that it will move ballistically (i.e. it won't billow/suspend), how much of that disturbed regolith will have such motion that it will settle neatly over the downed flag?

    Not at all saying it wouldn't. - it's just not something I have really thought about in detail & am curious about the mechanics of it all from people with greater knowledge of gas flows than me.
    If you watch ascent stage departure films for Apollo 15, 16 and 17 you can see that they kick up a lot of particulates pretty much as soon as they start moving - 16 in particular had a pretty messy departure. It does seem a heck of a lot just to be coming from the upper surface of the descent stage. It's also not clear whether it would form any sort of thick layer on resettling - we all know how an impressive amount of fines in the air can effectively disappear on settling to the ground. But if it even softened the edge shadows of a toppled, bleached flag, it would make it harder to see from above.
    (Not that I ever suggested we could see a toppled flag - just that the flag falling over wasn't necessarily a big deal or an effort to make it less visible.)

    Grant Hutchison

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    I read that the moon gets charged by passing through clouds of particles every 18 years and the dust raised locally might retain a charge suggesting it repels itself but might attract to a flag by the rubbing effect. I guess the moon surface is very non conducting so charge hangs about like on an electret. I can imagine the flag might even move due to static forces, that would set tongues wagging!
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    There’s also the possibility that the flags have seriously degraded.
    Bleached surrender white over the last 50 years, at least.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    If you watch ascent stage departure films for Apollo 15, 16 and 17 you can see that they kick up a lot of particulates pretty much as soon as they start moving - 16 in particular had a pretty messy departure. It does seem a heck of a lot just to be coming from the upper surface of the descent stage. It's also not clear whether it would form any sort of thick layer on resettling - we all know how an impressive amount of fines in the air can effectively disappear on settling to the ground. But if it even softened the edge shadows of a toppled, bleached flag, it would make it harder to see from above.
    (Not that I ever suggested we could see a toppled flag - just that the flag falling over wasn't necessarily a big deal or an effort to make it less visible.)

    Grant Hutchison
    Yes - I tend to default to the A17 ascent stage footage when I'm looking at that aspect of the missions because it is so superior, but it is really apparent on the A16 launch particularly. "Messy" is an apt description!

    This has piqued my interest. Time to do some research into the dispersion characteristics of an exhaust plume in a vacuum.

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    Much of the debris was shredded gold-plated mylar film that enclosed much of the descent stage, but there was also a lot of dust kicked up. In Apollo 15, where the camera did not track the LM, the dust made the view murky but settled in about 12 seconds. The view in 16 stayed murky as the camera looked up. In 17 there was a lot less dust, but the view stayed murky and I am guessing it was glare from the Sun in both 16 and 17.

    Check out the drivel in parts of the threads in 16 and 17, if you can stomach it. One of them refers to a reputed star or planet. It stayed in place with respect to the frame as the camera tracked up, showing that it was just a flaw in the camera. It really makes me appreciate what the mods do in this forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    Much of the debris was shredded gold-plated mylar film
    Fortunately there are no birds or fish on the moon to choke on these shreds.
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    There are worse ways to go:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTCjx5DEPkE

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGN Fuel View Post
    Actually, this is an interesting question. The exhaust of the ascent stage would impinge on the descent stage the early part of the ascent, which I assume would have imparted a lateral aspect to the flow. Easy to see how this would affect the flag, but how much would it have affected the regolith at ground level between the module and the flag? By the time the ascent stage had gained sufficient altitude so that the exhaust plume was not entirely diverted by the descent stage, would it still be able to impart sufficient force to scour much of the dust?

    if it did disturb the regolith, and noting that it will move ballistically (i.e. it won't billow/suspend), how much of that disturbed regolith will have such motion that it will settle neatly over the downed flag?

    Not at all saying it wouldn't. - it's just not something I have really thought about in detail & am curious about the mechanics of it all from people with greater knowledge of gas flows than me.
    I've just watched the youtubes posted by Grant of the LM lift-offs. There is a lot of very fine dust, it does not look like shreds of Mylar to me. However I wonder if there are condensed exhaust products? Would water vapour in the exhaust form tiny ice crystals on expansion into vacuum?

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    If you watch ascent stage departure films for Apollo 15, 16 and 17 you can see that they kick up a lot of particulates pretty much as soon as they start moving - 16 in particular had a pretty messy departure. It does seem a heck of a lot just to be coming from the upper surface of the descent stage. It's also not clear whether it would form any sort of thick layer on resettling - we all know how an impressive amount of fines in the air can effectively disappear on settling to the ground. But if it even softened the edge shadows of a toppled, bleached flag, it would make it harder to see from above.
    (Not that I ever suggested we could see a toppled flag - just that the flag falling over wasn't necessarily a big deal or an effort to make it less visible.)

    Grant Hutchison
    It was unfortunate that the camera bracket failed on both A15 and A16 such that the ascent could not be followed more completely as was A17.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kzb View Post
    I've just watched the youtubes posted by Grant of the LM lift-offs. There is a lot of very fine dust, it does not look like shreds of Mylar to me. However I wonder if there are condensed exhaust products? Would water vapour in the exhaust form tiny ice crystals on expansion into vacuum?
    I can't think of any other explanation for that confetti in the initial burst of ejecta. Any ideas?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    I can't think of any other explanation for that confetti in the initial burst of ejecta. Any ideas?
    Is it not persistence in the image capture of hot products? Any hot particle will give a streak.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Have the Russians ever denied the Moon landings? Any one of them in any year, 1969 or later? NO! Thus, if the Russians admit the landings occurred... they did!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gomar View Post
    Have the Russians ever denied the Moon landings? Any one of them in any year, 1969 or later? NO! Thus, if the Russians admit the landings occurred... they did!
    As Russia is the ninth-most-populous country in the world, saying that ANY Russian at all who was alive in 1969 or at any time since being an HB would be proof of a hoax sounds a bit foolish. If you mean any Russian involved in the space program or government, I do not recall any protests that the landings were a hoax from such experts.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    As Russia is the ninth-most-populous country in the world, saying that ANY Russian at all who was alive in 1969 or at any time since being an HB would be proof of a hoax sounds a bit foolish. If you mean any Russian involved in the space program or government, I do not recall any protests that the landings were a hoax from such experts.
    And in fact, belief that the Apollo landings were hoaxed is extremely common in Russia.

    Grant Hutchison

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