Image processing techniques discount the doubtersJuly 22, 2019
The world has plenty of conspiracy theorists who have continually tried to disprove that the celebrated Apollo 11 lunar landing of 50 years ago actually happened. We’ve looked at three leading arguments in relation to the photographs in circulation.
A shady picture
Many people have pointed to the fact that some of the shadows cast by the astronauts are not parallel. Surely you would expect parallel shadows to be created in an environment with only one light source – the sun? In reality, the uneven surface of the moon captured in a 2D image played havoc with perspective, creating what appears to be misaligned shadows. This is a condition which can be easily recreated with a single light source and is not proof of a lunar hoax.
Why can’t you see the stars?
Doubters have questioned the absence of a starry sky in the photos of 1969, but this can be explained with some basic knowledge of photographic techniques. With the intense sun reflecting off the pale moon surface, the subject of any pictures taken by the astronauts would always be in a bright environment. Therefore, a small aperture and fast shutter time were selected to obtain the best quality close-up images. With this short exposure time, the starry background would not have been bright enough to be captured in any photograph.
It was all filmed in a studio
Could the whole thing have been staged in a studio environment? Not according to an interesting article by University of Hertfordshire’s Howard Berry. He explains in detail how the filmmaking technology of the era just wasn’t capable of producing the 143-minute-long 10 fps footage which the astronauts recorded.
While it’s fun to imagine ways in which we could fake a moon landing, all the evidence suggests that NASA didn’t in this case! And we were amused to see Buzz Aldrin deal with one of these conspiracy theorists a couple of years ago.
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