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Are There Images of the Lunar Landers from Orbit?

Cliff posted more than 7 years ago | from the a-scavenger-hunt-on-the-net dept.

Mars 88

banditski asks: "We have pictures of Mars rovers from taken from orbit, like this photo of Opportunity, but I could not find any of the lunar landers from 60's and 70's? If they do exist, where are they?" More interesting photos from the MRO can be found in an October entry of the Bad Astronomer weblog, and interestingly enough this sentiment was repeated by a couple of posters, there. It won't be until 2008 until we get a fresh pair of 'eyes' on the Moon, but that doesn't mean that there aren't earlier, and just as interesting images buried somewhere on the net. Where can you find interesting orbital photos of the Moon, particularly ones that contain the LEMs, or other photogenic aspects of Tranquility Base?

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No there arn't (3, Funny)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#17771978)

We never landed on the Moon

Geez, I thought everyone knew that.

Re:No there arn't (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 7 years ago | (#17772146)

They have a mirror set up on the moon so that anyone who knows where to look can fire a laser at it and get a reflection back; that conspiracy theory has been debunked long ago

Re:No there arn't (4, Funny)

dschuetz (10924) | more than 7 years ago | (#17773040)

They have a mirror set up on the moon so that anyone who knows where to look can fire a laser at it and get a reflection back;

How do you know that's not just a shiny rock? :)

Re:No there arn't (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 7 years ago | (#17773896)

Because it's not just something shiny. You can fire the laser from basically anywhere on earth that's facing the moon and it will return in exactly the opposite direction right back at you. Shiny surfaces don't do that; it takes a precise structure

Re:No there arn't (1)

mwmarasch (1056252) | more than 7 years ago | (#17774262)

These devices are known as corner reflectors. They are shaped like the inside of a cube with a reflective surface. Yes, indeed, these do return the light in the direction it came from for a range of angles. The flawed theories of the conspiracy theorists are a nuisance! The government isn't as smart as they think it is... mwmarasch

Re:No there arn't (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17774908)

Oh, but if your tinfoil had is screwed on really tight, and made of really heavy-gauge tinfoil, the answer is simple.

It was well within our 1969 technology to send small unmanned landers to the moon, carrying retroreflectors. (Didn't every one of the supposed Apollo missions carry one?) That's how they got there, and how we're able to bounce lasers off of them.

Beyond that, even once we do have decent cameras in-place in 2008, remember that based on one of the referenced articles, NONE of the so-called Apollo artifacts is bigger than about 16 pixels. The same landers that actually landed the retroreflectors had several spring-loaded compartments. Each shot a small balloon + gas canister a few feet away, and a minute later those inflated into the correctly-sized "shadows".

But it gets better... By the time the tinfoil-hatters can go to the moon themselves and SEE the Apollo artifacts, they'll contend that they didn't get there in 1969-1972, but were in fact put there "only a few years ago", in whatever "now" we have lunar tourism.

For my part, I've imagined that someday the Apollo 11 landing site will have boardwalks so the original footprints remain undisturbed, along with some sort of lightweight transparent (polyethylene sheets?) shielding overhead to stop further micrometeorite erosion. The part I wonder is how they'll keep tourists on the boardwalk. (Unless we've done something stupid to ourselves prior to lunar tourism.)

Re:No there arn't (1)

capebretonsux (758684) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780034)

("Unless we've done something stupid to ourselves prior to lunar tourism.)"

My bet's on the 'something stupid' happening first...

Re:No there arn't (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780264)

Much as I would like to see lunar tourism, preferably participate, I'm not betting on either.

Re:No there arn't (1)

wwphx (225607) | more than 7 years ago | (#17782994)

I don't know if all of the Apollo missions carried reflectors, but I do know that three did along with two Russian robotic probes. One of the Russians doesn't work, maybe it tipped over or a strut broke and the retroreflector is pointing off in who-knows-what direction.

My wife operates the APOLLO lunar lasing system at Apache Point Observatory. The beam is fired through the telescope, so it's 3.5 meters wide exiting and heading towards the moon, apparently it's over 2km when it hits. I have no idea how big it is when it gets back to earth and is detected.

The laser has been operational and ranging for over a year, and it wasn't until earlier this year that she managed to hit all four retroreflectors in one night! She was extremely gleeful when she got home from that.

It's not quite as simple as just shining a laser up there, and that's ignoring the orbital mechanics of the earth and moon that have to be compensated for. The laser has to be pulsed so that the detector isn't blinded and can see the returning pulses. It's been several years in the making and is an incredible piece of technology. I really ought to make some good pix of the equipment and update the Wikipedia article.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_Point_Observat ory_Lunar_Laser-ranging_Operation [wikipedia.org]

Re:No there arn't (1)

GMontag (42283) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781976)

Back in the day, when they were preparing to put them on the Moon, they were glass spheres and that would reflect the light back to it's origin. Not sure what "the inside of a cube" shape would be, other than a cube, and it would not reflect back from every direction.

Re:No there arn't (1)

TheAlmightyQ (306969) | more than 7 years ago | (#17782604)

Spheres and partial cubes are both ways to construct retroreflectors: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retroreflector [wikipedia.org]

Everything I've read about the reflectors left on the moon describes them as the corner-cube type of reflectors, although looking at a close up picture it's hard to tell if the mirrors are cubes or spheres.

Re:No there arn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17775228)

One potential problem with this is that the moon itself is somewhat retro-reflective. This causes the full moon to be a few percent brighter than it should be if it were a pure lambertian reflector. Since any laser's beam will have a diameter of multiple kilometers at the moon, one could argue that the increased reflection is purely caused by random increase in retroreflectivity. The effect is mentioned here [arizona.edu] and here [wikipedia.org] .

Re:No there arn't (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775674)

While the lunar surface does indeed seem to possess a measure of retroflectivity, it is nowhere even close to the effect that can be manufactured artificially (if it were, the moon would be virtually invisible all the time from earth except near a full moon).

Re:No there aren't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17776600)

In comparison to the area of the laser beam on the moon's surface, the retroreflector is tiny, so the overall effect of the reflector should be small as well. Actually, the effect of the reflector is so incredibly small, that "Even under good atmospheric viewing conditions, only one photon is received every few seconds." according to this NASA bulletin [nasa.gov] . It also mentions that the beam diameter is 4 miles, approximately 130 million m^2, while the reflector is less than 1/4 m^2. The reflectivity of the retroreflector is not 500 million times better than that of the lunar surface (with an albedo of 0.12, ther can even theoretically only be an improvement by about a factor of 8), however, it quite likely is retroreflective in a much tighter angle.

What I'm saying is that receiving one photon every few seconds won't impress any of the "moon landing critics".

Re:No there aren't (2, Informative)

mark-t (151149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17777502)

Albedo is not the same thing as retroreflectivity. Albedo is the ratio of reflected to incident electromagnetic radiation, so it can't be greater than 1.

Retroreflectivity, however, is another matter completely. It's not a ratio, but just a measure of brightness (more or less), so there's no maximum. White clothing, for example, has a retroreflectivity of about one-third. The moon is only modestly better than this, at about one-half, iirc from high school. Most road signs have a retroreflectivity measured in the hundreds. I don't know what the retroreflectivity of the mirror they put on the moon, but I imagine it's no less than what traffic signs are.

Shining a laser at the moon and getting an additional photon back every few seconds is far in excess of getting an additional photon back every hour or two, which is what it would be if the moon's surface alone were responsible for the reflection.

Re:No there arn't (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 7 years ago | (#17778046)

I agree. There is a mirror set up on the moon.

Now, how did that mirror get there? NASA has had the ability to land stuff on the moon since 1966 with the Surveyor missions [wikipedia.org] . They claim that it was set up by Apollo 11. But did anybody shoot a laser at the coordinates NASA gives before 1969 to prove that something wasn't there?

Re:No there arn't (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 7 years ago | (#17782786)

> They have a mirror set up on the moon so that anyone who knows where to look can fire a laser at it and get a reflection back; that conspiracy theory has been debunked long ago

Uhmmm, that's a partial debunking. Getting machinery on other planets is a sure thing. But a man is not a mirror. If we landed in 69 or no, it will be apparent when we get there [again].

Re:No there arn't (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17772148)

> 404 File Not Found
> The requested URL (askslashdot/07/01/26/0432232.shtml) was not found.

Not found indeed. I'd go so far as to say that the moon itself doesn't exist. Just try finding any moon literature from before the 1930s. And notice how "coincidentally" only one side faces us, and it almost perfectly eclipses the sun, viewed from the Earth's surface. Makes you think, what's on the other side? Things get more contradictory from here: apparently it doesn't exist, yet we landed on it, and it has 4 sides (bright,dark,Earth-side and far-side). Mathematically we define a sphere as the set of points within a radius of some origin. How, then, does a moon have 4 sides when spheres have either 1 "side" or infinite "sides" (depending on who you ask?)

The case for the moon is dwindling.

Re:No there arn't (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17772378)

But the moon has 6 sides - you forgot "inside" and "outside". Doesn't that make the moon a cube?

Re:No there arn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17772626)

Doesn't that make the moon a cube?

Yes! It's a TIMECUBE in fact! Everything is so clear now...

Re:No there arn't (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17773200)

You tried way to hard on that one.

BTW to explain the way a sphere has 4 sides, see timecube.com for more information.


Re:No there arn't (1)

DavidR1991 (1047748) | more than 7 years ago | (#17772868)

I would like to see a convincing vacuum made on Earth...

Re:No there arn't (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17772972)

I would like to see a convicing 1/6 gravity field created on earth. That golf shot would be impossible to duplicate on a stage in the 1970's. Today it would be CGI, but then it would be obvious.

Re:No there arn't (2, Funny)

ReverendLoki (663861) | more than 7 years ago | (#17773100)

Which, in reply, I wish to direct you here [dyson.com] , here [hoover.com] , or even here [shopvac.com] . Or if unmanned robotic efforts are more your cup of tea, here [irobot.com] (one of which just happens to be the subject for today here [woot.com] ).

What, was somene not expecting a smart-ass reply to that?

Re:No there arn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17773396)

Coming soon to a planet near you, MegaMaid [ladyofthecake.com] . Of course we'll have to wait for the new and improved SpaceBalls2 transformer.


Re:No there arn't (1)

slcdb (317433) | more than 7 years ago | (#17773594)

No, no, no... none of those are convincing.

He's asking about one that says things like, "You know, you really should consider vacuuming today. This place is a sty. Seriously, I've seen frat-houses that had cleaner floors. Come on, take me for a spin... you know you want to."

Re:No there arn't (1)

Ded Bob (67043) | more than 7 years ago | (#17774214)

My wife has the Dyson DC15 [dyson.com] . It is called The Ball. I really wanted that model because I first thought it was a sphere. :)

Re:No there arn't (1)

sam0vi (985269) | more than 7 years ago | (#17782942)

After reading this, i remembered the first thing thast made me think that moon landing never happened. And that this was: if it had been true every single bigass telescope on earth by that time would have focused on the landing area to see to space crafts and such. And as far as i know that never happened. Does anybody have an answer to that question different of mine?? i'll appreciate it

here you go (5, Informative)

jcgam69 (994690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17772016)

A discussion of the difficulty of imaging the landers and a picture: http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2005/11jul_lroc .htm [nasa.gov]

Thanks (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#17772248)

Interesting to find out that Hubble can not do it. It really makes a case for continual improvements of camera (lighter weight and smaller / pixel resolution) for using to send to other planets.

Re:Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17776190)

Hubble's for ultra long range shots, we're currently seeing billions of years into the past, so the moon is nothing but a fuzzy blot if it tries.

Re:Thanks (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 7 years ago | (#17778666)

Even if Hubble could do it, conspiracy theorists would just be like "NASA must have faked them to try and prove us wrong.. we're not falling for that".

Re:Thanks (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 7 years ago | (#17782590)

Interesting to find out that Hubble can not do it. It really makes a case for continual improvements of camera (lighter weight and smaller / pixel resolution) for using to send to other planets.

Maybe for surface imaging but for (stellar) astronomical cameras bigger pixels are actually better. The larger the surface area of a CCD pixel the more photons it is able to collect thus making the imaging array more sensitive, even if that means lower resolution. To give you an idea, if you make a CCD array the same physical size overall but halve the horizontal and vertical resolution (hence, a quarter resolution) you're effectively making the pixels 4x the size, 4x more sensitive and able to detect light sources 1/4 as bright.

Tin foil hat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17772360)

Isn't it convenient that they didn't equip any lunar orbiter since the 1970's with a camera powerful enough to resolve the landers. Maybe they didn't want to look for them, cause they knew they weren't there.

Re:Tin foil hat... (4, Insightful)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17773062)

Isn't it convenient
Convenient to whom? It's very convenient for the conspiracy theorists as it means they can on thinking that everything is a lie.

Re:Tin foil hat... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17777446)

> It's very convenient for the conspiracy theorists as it means they can on thinking that everything is a lie.

Oh, that's just what they want you to think.

X-Files Environmental Conspiracy... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17772042)

Considering how sensitive the global warming issue is on Earth, the UNITED NATIONS had decided to cover up the environmental damage done by space probes to avoid being sued by any extra-planetary lawyers.

No (1)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 7 years ago | (#17772128)

In short, no, AFAIK. No LEMs, no Surveyors, no Lunokhods... But you could ask more here. [unmannedspaceflight.com]

I believe it is because modern lunar orbiters have focused more on mapping minerals and such rather than on high-resolution imagers like the absolutely huge HiRISE [arizona.edu] .

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17772738)

I would say there are no hi-res images because that level of imaging requires many orbits, and it's impossible to find a stable orbit around the Moon due to the pull of Earth.

Re:No (1)

Mattcelt (454751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17773434)

And I would say that finding a stable orbit around the moon is only six times* as hard as finding a stable orbit around the earth, and we've managed to do that quite handily.

*Think about that. You'll get it.

Re:No (1)

robogun (466062) | more than 7 years ago | (#17773954)

There are no LEMs on the moon. After launching and lunar orbit docking with the CSM, they were ejected and impacted into the lunar surface. The lower stages remain at the landing sites, they are platforms maybe 2m in height.

exactly what you asked for (5, Informative)

jcgam69 (994690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17772198)

These are the best photos available: http://www.tass-survey.org/richmond/answers/lunar_ lander.html#apollo [tass-survey.org]

Re:exactly what you asked for (2, Funny)

haystor (102186) | more than 7 years ago | (#17774404)

Sad to say, but I'm afraid to click on any link on /. that says "These are the best photos available".

So you trust the Guvmint??? (2, Funny)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 7 years ago | (#17772238)

If the landings were faked in the first place with 1960's technology (and the idea of keeping all those involved completely isolated), what do you think could be done with current technology and digital photos?

(and I am sure there are people out there who would take the above seriously)

Re:So you trust the Guvmint??? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#17772628)

Faked with 1960s *government conspiracy* technology. Sheesh. They only give us access to enough of the alien tech they have recovered to keep us in the illusion that we are making progress.

Re:So you trust the Guvmint??? (2, Insightful)

demo9orgon (156675) | more than 7 years ago | (#17774166)

Trust the Government?
Hell no!
Nobody should.

Personally, I don't trust any organization with three or more people in it.
As much as I would like to believe in all the national history of US Space flight I'm really not a "believer" in anything except my ability to waste my own time.

Despite all the advances in technology if we had a serious space program we'd stop throwing away money on on orbital trailer parks and create genuine spacefaring technologies and exo-orbital structures which would make hull-building a seamless process outside any gravity well. We have the tech to start this based on the automated extrusion/molding/manufacturing processes which take place everyday in creating commodity and specialized products in factories.

All it would take is 30 years of the United States not being a rotten player in international politics, namely false-flag ops, economic arm-twisting, and military aggression for resources. These things have made us the enemy of every poor country on the planet, the buddy of corporate and fascist bullies, and our own worst enemy when it comes to any serious exo-orbital industry.

The Chinese are going to spank us in space, and rightly so.
They even hold our future in the form of trillions in promisary notes and loans.
The sleeping Dragon of the East is waking up and our short-lived glory as a superpower is already eaten from within.

Sucks to national pride. There's nothing to be proud of any longer. The US is a sham democracy, the robber barons have returned.

Re:So you trust the Guvmint??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17775220)

And how did you feel, being denied these hungry, hungry hippoes?

Re:So you trust the Guvmint??? (1)

Croaker (10633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17784226)

Personally, I don't trust any organization with three or more people in it.

Three or more you say? Well... I have just my partner in my organization, so you can trust us! We sell bridges. We have a fine selection in the New York City area that we'd be willing to sell you, cheap!

Re:So you trust the Guvmint??? (1)

demo9orgon (156675) | more than 7 years ago | (#17794850)

I suppose a better quantifer would be,

"Personally I don't trust any organization trying to sell anything."

I don't mind organizations when they're altruisic and informative, it's when they're trying to sell something that things get trampled.

I guess that makes me "unamerican". It goes well with being an unbeliever.

Of course I'm not immune to the antics of the P.T.Barnum club, at least any more than most.

I tend to think that anyone who has a mortage and realizes the illusion of home ownership fits that description.

So I'm another pixel in that circle on the great Venn diagram of existence.

No (3, Interesting)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17772456)

This NASA press release [nasa.gov] says that NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (planned for 2008) will be the first time it's possible to take photos of the landers.

I seem to remember a photo from 1-2 years ago, though. It showed the shadow of the LEM and some nearby stuff (Surveyor?). Not enough resolution to resolve the objects themselves, but the sun was low on the horizon, creating huge shadows.

LRO is the first since 1972 (3, Informative)

apsmith (17989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17772890)

The truth is, we've sent far more and better spacecraft to Mars in the last few decades than to the Moon. The only things the US has sent to the Moon since 1972 have been Clementine, a DoD low-cost project that didn't have anywhere near a good enough camera, and Lunar Prospector, another low-budget item that had no camera at all. Galileo swung by briefly, but not enough to take close-range pictures. Europe has sent SMART-1, again decidedly low-budget: it took over a year to get there and was mainly for testing other things besides photography.

But that's the Moon for you - the inner city of the solar system that everybody says they care about but nobody does anything.

Re:No (2, Funny)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17774494)

FTA you referenced:

The spacecraft's high-resolution camera, called "LROC," short for Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, has a resolution of about half a meter. That means that a half-meter square on the Moon's surface would fill a single pixel in its digital images.

Apollo moon buggies are about 2 meters wide and 3 meters long.
So in the LROC images, those abandoned vehicles will fill about 4 by 6 pixels.
WTF? Four to Six Pixels!!???? That is about the size of ---} ' {---- that black thing there!! I want an up close shot with the front of the Chicago times from launch day!

.... And footprints. I wanna see footprints.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17776248)

Actually, 4x6 pixels isn't bad. It's closer to the size of a 10 pt bullet
  • <--
than an apostrophe ‘

Famous last excuses of NASA personnel.. (4, Funny)

thrill12 (711899) | more than 7 years ago | (#17772494)

... hurrying to prevent the news that the moon landing in fact never happened from coming out:

* Quick, launch that space junk towards the moon before LROC [nasa.gov] comes along !
* Oh, it seems that we couldn't photograph the landing site due to a metric conversion error.
* Giant moon storms have suddenly wiped out all evidence of any landing on the moon, what a coincidence eh ?
* OMG this is not the moon we landed on in 1969, we have been tricked !
* There is life there, but not as we know it - they made our moon landers disappear.
* OK, the moon landing was faked - see this little bunny, this funny little bunny ? Look how cute this little bunny is ! So cute !
* The russians did it !
* The chinese did it !
* The martians did it !
* The democrats did it !
* In a blatant act of time-terrorism, our moon landing was sabotaged and in fact never ever took place !
* Due to global warming, our moon landers have shrunk to microscopic size.
* Because we plan to go to the moon in a decade time again, we decided to clean the place up and remove all evidence of any moon landers. Neat eh ?
* Our moon landing was an advanced project, so advanced that we calculated the environmental damage the moon equipment would have on the moon would be enormous. Therefore we decided, back then in 1969, to make all equipment on the moon from bio-degradable plastics - and look : they have all degraded !
* The chance of a meteor hitting the moon is very large - by a mere coincidence meteors have struck the exact same places our moon equipment were at and removed all evidence of us ever being there.

Nice troll! (2, Insightful)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#17772858)

The story is so obviously a troll. Just coming out with "there are no landers on the moon" would have been rejected, even by the /. editors. So this is a very slightly disguised way of throwing out the same claim for 'discussion'. It's pretty obvious that all this will generate is comments about faked landings. Kudos to the author who slipped it past the editors!

Re:Nice troll! WTF?? (1)

taiwanjohn (103839) | more than 7 years ago | (#17774100)

I find it odd that some posters here are assuming this question to be a troll... as if the questioner must be demanding photographic "proof" that the landings occurred in the first place!

Fer chrissakes, is there no place for plain old curiosity anymore?

I watched the landings on live TV. And though one could say I was gullible, being just shy of six years old in July of '69, I never doubted the authenticity of the landings.

Be that as it may, I'd still LOVE to see some photos of the discarded equipment from orbit. Why? Cuz it would be f#$%ing COOL!!

I clicked on this story/headline BECAUSE I want to see some photos of the old landing sites. And thankfully, some other posters have provided links. And because of that, now I know that in fact there aren't very many such photos in existence, and why.

Sheesh! Give the guy a break, he's just asking an honest, curious question...


Re:Nice troll! (1)

Laith (21370) | more than 7 years ago | (#17774734)

I see the point you are trying to make. However you didn't read his question correctly.

You read him asking "If they do exist, where are they?" as "If the rovers do exist, where are they?".

However in context the question is "If orbital pictures of them do exist, where are they?" as he said he can't find any out on the net.

Re:Nice troll! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17781770)

OMG! Now we have to deal with conspiracy theorists that theorise about other conspiracy theorist's conspiracy!!!

(I ashure you what's written above makes sense, really)

But are there images of... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17772898)

The Whalers on the moon?

"We're whalers on the moon, We carry a harpoon. But there ain't no whales So we tell tall tales And sing our whaling tune."

its because the landed on the far side of the moon (1)

mozkill (58658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17773612)

we always see the same side of the moon. the landers landed on a lighted part of the moon that is just on the far side that is visible from earth.

Re:its because the landed on the far side of the m (1)

mozkill (58658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17773674)

oops... im wrong... there are 6 lander sites on the visible side of the moon.

About time (1)

gx5000 (863863) | more than 7 years ago | (#17773814)

We are inundated by images nowadays...
It doesn't matter how remote something is, and what happened there, we want a full panavision image of it pronto from CNN or with beach babe added from FOX.

No, seriously, with all the bogus information we get from our respective governments it isn't at all surprising that the disenfranchised might suspect everything under the Sun (or Moon). Maybe they (the US) should send a High Yield full spec package to take snaps of previous holidays spent on the moon for the kids back home.
They'd probably be the coolest and number one wallpapers for quite a while !!
Humm, maybe Microsoft should.....Apple MacOS ? I-MoonLandingWallpaper ?
Please don't sue moi !

Not possible - - yet (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17773918)

Telescopes are not an option: http://calgary.rasc.ca/moonscope.htm [calgary.rasc.ca]

No lunar recon probes have had the camera resolution to do it as far as I know. The closest was SMART-1 which was plowed into the moon.

http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/SMART-1/SEM1O6BUQPE_0. html [esa.int]

Re:Not possible - - yet (1)

Craig Milo Rogers (6076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17785406)

The Web site above is very good, but omits one crucial consideration: optical interferometry. Let's consider the Keck Interferometer on Mauna Kea, HI. It has an effective resolution of about 5 miliarcseconds at its most sensitive. Since a Linar Rover is, at best, about 2.4 milliarcseconds wide as seen from the surface of the Earth, and since the Keck isn't really set up for direct interferometric imaging anyway, we're once again frustrated in our desire to image the Lunar Rover from Earth. But, if you are content to use earth rotation interferometric imaging, you might be able to use the Keck Interferometer to image a linear profile of the shadow of a Lunar Rover. Do that multiple times (OK, many, many times), and in theory you can image a Lunar Rover's shadow. Of course, you have the problem that the Earth/Moon/Sun angles are going to be changing as you take your many, many measurements, but hey, we can munch the data with computers and correct for that, right?

There's another, even more intriguing case. Suppose that you have a Lunar Rover that is crossed by shadows, say from a crater rim or a boulder (I don't know if any are, so this is speculation, OK?). In theory, you might (and I'm enphasizing *might*, because there are several numbers that must be considered before one can say whether this is really feasible) be able to use that shadow to scan and image the Lunar Rover from Earth.

Why is this an AskSlashdot? (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775818)

Surely any geek worth his salt would have found the relevant information inside of 5 minutes. I know I did, and I wasn't even the first to post the relevant link. One poster has suggested it's merely 'moon landings were faked' flamebait, but really, that's been a. so thoroughly debunked I'd sign up anyone who still believes that for the most remote lunatic asylum I can find, and b. discussed to death on /. Can we move on now?

NASA photoes wouldn't do any good (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780554)

Photos provided by NASA or any other agency would do absolutely no good. The nutters who say the lunar landing was faked will just claim that the photos of the site were faked as well.

It stands to reason that if NASA would fake the landing, the could also fake the photos and fake the science to take them. This is not the case.

If you think the lunar landing were faked take some real physics courses and then decide for yourself. Otherwise go back to working on the perpetual motion machine behind the trailer.

Apollo 12 (1)

KwaJaleinKray (1056400) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780810)

Apollo 12 was able to land in very close proximity to a Surveyor probe because its location could be determined from images originating from Lunar Orbiter probes. I believe its shadowed image was also discernable in the LO pics. Other LO images showed long shadows from boulders that had rolled down crater walls. So, yeah, it is possible to see them unmanned landers, and it has been done.

Re:Apollo 12 (2, Informative)

darkonc (47285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781744)

Apollo 12 [nasa.gov] even brought back pieces of Surveyor III. ((The referenced page (astronomy picture of the day) shows surveyor 3 from a distance of .... oh, 50 feet. and the Apollo 12 lunar module from abut 600 feet.))

Yep... The moon's seen it's first example of the very human activity known as looting.

Moon landing hoax 100 years from now (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 7 years ago | (#17786068)

In 100 years, after all the Earthlings kill themselves off and China colonizes Mars, there won't be a single living being who still believes the moon landings ever happened. The doubts would just grow in number. The media, empowered by Digg brain implants that disable independant thought, would declare the moon landings a hoax.

There would be no way to prove otherwise, not only because humans would be incapable of independant thought outside Digg, but because China would have destroyed the moon in retaliation for Condoleeza questioning human rights violations.

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