Exposing PseudoAstronomy

October 20, 2008

The Apollo Moon Hoax: “No Stars” Claim and an Explanation of Dynamic Range


All posts in this series:

Continuing my sporadic series on claims made by people who believe that the US never landed humans on the moon, I am going to address one of the simplest and yet most prolific claims:  There are no stars in the pictures of the moon.  After all, the sky is black and without an atmosphere we should be able to see stars … right?  WRONG

I am going to address this in three ways, first by proposing questions which demonstrate the lunacy (pun intended) of this claim when you actually think about it.  Second, I will address the reason why we don’t see stars in a qualitative way, and third I will explain dynamic range and why stars aren’t visible in a quantitative way.

Method 1 – Why This Doesn’t Make Sense

The claim effectively goes:  On the moon without an atmosphere in the way, the sky should be filled with stars.  Since there aren’t stars, it must be fake.  In fact, it must be a really bad fake because NASA knew that they wouldn’t be able to figure out where every star goes on their black backdrops for their sets because other people would realize they are in the wrong place, so they just eliminated the stars all together and made the backdrops completely black.

This shows one of the major problems with conspiracy theories of this scale – you have to grant the conspirators a huge amount of power, intelligence, and influence, yet they have to be so unbelievably dumb as to make simple mistakes that the conspiracy theorists can then point out.

When I do my planetarium show on the Apollo Moon Hoax (“Why We Did NOT Not Land on the Moon”), I have the operator bring up the star projector along with a 360° lunar panorama to “simulate” what the conspiracy theorists say it should be like if we’re on the moon.  And it’s a good simulation.  Why?  Because the stars should be in the same place as they are on Earth!  Even though the moon is 384,400 km from Earth, that’s pretty much nothing in relation to where we would see stars from the Apollo cameras.  Only if the astronauts were to do very precise astrometry with very long-focal length lenses (as in telescopes) would they be able to discern any deviation from where the stars would appear from Earth, and even then, it would only be for the very closest stars to our solar system.

So, the fact that we have great planetarium star projectors that simulate the positions of thousands of stars means that NASA should have easily been able to figure out where to put the stars.  And not just that, but if NASA couldn’t figure out where to put the stars – when they had 1 out of every 360 Americans working on the Apollo program in some manner – how would someone else be able to figure out that they were in the wrong place when the exact orientation and location of every single Apollo photograph is simply not available to them?

It simply doesn’t make sense for NASA to have purposely left the stars out.

Method 2 – A Qualitative Explanation of Dynamic Range

Dynamic range (discussed with numbers below in Method 3) is the ability to observe/record/detect a range of values.  For example, if you look at an oven thermometer, it probably has numbers for 100° to maybe 500°.  That’s the dynamic range of it, it can’t record anything below 100° nor about 500°.  Same thing with a car’s speedometer – its dynamic range is probably 0 mph to around 150 mph.  Any speed above 150 and it’s useless.

With cameras, it’s a little more complicated because you can control the “window” of dynamic range with things like shutter speed and aperture.  So let’s go back to the thermometer example – the one above has a range of 400°.  Let’s say I re-calibrated it such that it can now record between -100° and +300°.  Its dynamic range is still the same, but I’ve changed what temperatures it’s sensitive to in the same way changing the shutter speed of a camera will change what light levels can be captured before they’re too dim to be recorded or too bright to be completely washed out.

This is what happened with the stars:  The dynamic range of the camera film was too small to both properly expose the lunar surface and to record stars.  And since, for the most part, the astronauts went to the moon to explore the lunar surface and not do stellar astronomy, they didn’t take pictures of the stars …

… except they actually did (example photo on the right).  Conspiracy theorists never actually bring this up because it’s one of those incontrovertible pieces of evidence that we actually did go to the moon.  Ultraviolet light is blocked by our atmosphere and so it doesn’t reach the ground (for the most part), which is a good thing for life such as us.  To do UV astronomy, you have to go above Earth’s atmosphere, and so the Apollo 16 astronauts actually brought UV cameras to the moon.  They took photographs that were made available, and they were the first of their kind showing features in the far-UV spectrum.  Many years later, when space-based UV telescopes became operational, they confirmed that the Apollo 16 photographs were real because they showed the same things.

Method 3 – A Quantitative Explanation of Dynamic Range

This is a discussion of dynamic range with more numbers.  For ease of argument, let’s say that the dynamic range of the camera film used by Apollo is between 1 and 100.  If only 1 piece of light or less hits the film, the film records it as black.  If 100 pieces or more hit the film, it’s recorded as white.

Now let’s say that the moon reflects between 6000 and 20,000 pieces of light per second, while any one reasonably bright-looking star hits the moon with more like 1 piece of light per second.  (This is actually the approximate scaling between the two.)  This is not because of any atmospheric effects (Earth’s atmosphere transmits over 90% of visible light through it, and it wouldn’t selectively screen out star light from moon light, anyway), but simply because the stars are much fainter because they’re much farther away.

As you can see right away, we have a problem:  Our film can only record between 1 and 100 counts, but the moon reflects over 100 times that amount of light per second.  That’s why we have a variable shutter speed.  We can expose the film for less than 1 second.  In this case, if we expose the film for 1/250th of a second, then the film should only pick up between (6000/250 = ) 24 and (20,000/250 = ) 80 pieces of light in that picture.  Since 24 and 80 are both between 1 and 100, then we have properly exposed the moon, getting its brightness within the dynamic range of the camera.

Now let’s look at the stars.  In that 1/250th second photograph, there’s only a 1 in 250 chance that a piece of light will enter the camera and be recorded by the film.  It’s very unlikely.  And so, to the film, that star wouldn’t even be there – it wouldn’t be detected – because it’s below the dynamic range of the film.

Now let’s say you actually did want to photograph the stars.  With 1 piece of light per second, you would probably want to take a picture for around 50 seconds (to get it in the middle of your dynamic range).  But, if you take a picture for 50 seconds, the amount of reflected light off the moon would be over 300,000 counts, and this is way above our dynamic range limit of 100 counts.  So while that star may be properly exposed in 50 seconds, the moon itself would be over-exposed and appear all white.

That is why the dynamic range of the film is not good enough to see both stars and the moon’s surface in the same length of exposure


To summarize, the basic reason there are no stars in the Apollo photographs of the lunar surface and sky is because the cameras were set to expose the lunar surface properly, and those exposures are too short to record stars.

In fact, you can easily do this experiment yourself:  On a night when there’s a fairly full moon out, or even a half-full moon out, go outside and try to photograph it.  If you use an aperture somewhere around 4.5 to 6.3, you will likely need a shutter speed between 1/200 and 1/100 of a second to properly expose the moon.  Now look at your photos.  Do you see any stars?  The answer will be “no.”

Now try to photograph the stars.  You will likely need to expose for at least several seconds in order to see any stars in your picture.  Now go back to the moon and use the same exposure settings, aperture and shutter speed.  You may get stars in the field this time, but the moon will be a pure white ball, over-exposed.

This simple experiment, along with all the arguments above, should clearly show why the claim that there are no stars in the Apollo lunar photographs does not mean that the lunar landings were faked.

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21 Comments »

  1. Oh my god enjoyed reading your blogpost. I submitted your rss to my reader!!

    Comment by PevygumsPoeve — November 30, 2009 @ 8:33 am | Reply

  2. There actually ARE some Apollo 14 lunar surface pictures that managed to capture the planet Venus. It’s from a series near the end of an EVA that shows the earth high over the LM. They correctly expose the shadowed side of the LM so the exposure times were longer than those of the sunlit surface.

    If there was just one picture we wouldn’t be able to tell for sure that it’s Venus because dust scratches were common on those pictures. But it shows up in every photo and in the correct place.

    And it’s still just barely visible despite being the third brightest object in the lunar sky, after the sun and earth (Venus is also the third brightest object from earth, after the sun and moon). So when you compare the brightness of Venus to that of the stars, it becomes obvious from these pictures that regular stars were just way too dim to show up in Apollo lunar surface pictures.

    Comment by Phil Karn — February 18, 2010 @ 10:48 am | Reply

  3. Great Debunk work. As both a film student and a student with interest in astronomy, I’ve had this exact same problem.

    Comment by Emperor — September 3, 2010 @ 5:03 pm | Reply

  4. we didn’t see any stars because its daytime all the time on the moon. Do you see stars when it is daylight on earth? well, your reason is probobly true too, but you wouldnt have seen any stars either way.

    Comment by Lone — October 20, 2010 @ 12:44 pm | Reply

    • It’s not actually daytime all the time on the moon. But every Apollo landing did occur in the daytime, more specifically early morning at the landing site to have the best view during the landing. It also kept temperatures reasonably low.

      Even Apollo 17, the longest visit, spent only 3 days on the moon. Because the moon turns on its axis only about once per month, they still left before local solar noon.

      Comment by Phil Karn — May 23, 2011 @ 1:37 am | Reply

      • Kept temperatures reasonably low? I didn’t realize the vacuum of space and the lack of an atmosphere on the moon would transfer heat from the sun.

        Comment by Scott — August 15, 2015 @ 3:01 pm

  5. I guess this picture is fake as well, because I sure don’t see any starts in it.

    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/multimedia/gallery/iss030e078532.html

    Comment by garon — February 23, 2012 @ 2:16 pm | Reply

  6. does this go for video as well or is there a difference

    Comment by kc — October 11, 2012 @ 12:51 pm | Reply

    • This is usually even worse for video — most video cameras have even less dynamic range than film or digital still cameras today.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — October 11, 2012 @ 1:28 pm | Reply

  7. “To summarize, the basic reason there are no stars in the Apollo photographs of the lunar surface and sky is because the cameras were set to expose the lunar surface properly, and those exposures are too short to record stars.”
    “Now go back to the moon and use the same exposure settings, aperture and shutter speed. You may get stars in the field this time, but the moon will be a pure white ball, over-exposed.”

    Yeah right. What about Apollo 17?
    Why you can see stars and the sun in photos taken closely together?

    Notice these HR (high resolution) SEQUENTIAL B&W photographs with the exposure set to expose the lunar surface properly.
    Notice the white stars in the photographs: (Use the high res iPad or large PC screen):

    This despite the sun being out nice and bright 2 photographs later: 20740HR.jpg

    From this Film magazine:
    https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a17/images17.html#MagH

    “but the moon will be a pure white ball, over-exposed,” to quote you. Oh really?
    Was the camera “using the same exposure settings, aperture and shutter speed,” to expose the lunar surface properly 2 photographs later? Highly likely.

    Nice try in your explanation without using actual data obtainable from NASA. Now explain away the facts in these photographs.
    Your explanation to explain away a hoax isn’t working. The cameras were able to pick up “stars” – so why not in all the photos in the Apollo landings when cameras were not directed at the sun?

    Maybe the white stars are dust on the lens, you know the dust you claim can’t be kicked up by the LM Descent Engine.
    Or maybe they are pinpricks in a stage background cloth, or entered in the photographs by NASA after the fact when they realized by Apollo 17 their goof.

    hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a17/AS17-136-20726HR.jpg

    hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a17/AS17-136-20733HR.jpg

    hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a17/AS17-136-20734HR.jpg

    hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a17/AS17-136-20735HR.jpg

    hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a17/AS17-136-20736HR.jpg

    hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a17/AS17-136-20737HR.jpg

    hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a17/AS17-136-20738HR.jpg

    Is this an overexposed pure white ball? – 2 photos later?
    Why isn’t it overexposed with the camera directly at the sun when the camera was set to expose the lunar surface just a few photos earlier?

    Because it’s not the sun. It’s a studio light.

    hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a17/AS17-136-20740HR.jpg

    Comment by Scott — August 15, 2015 @ 4:44 pm | Reply

  8. Apollo 15
    Notice the photo with the stage lights on the bars above:
    http://www.lpi.usra.edu/resources/apollo/frame/?AS15-89-12015

    Notice the same photo cropped on NASA’s site:

    Comment by Scott — August 15, 2015 @ 5:02 pm | Reply

  9. Please, don’t aim the camera too high. You may take a photo of the overhead studio lights:

    http://www.lpi.usra.edu/resources/apollo/catalog/70mm/magazine/?89

    Comment by Scott — August 15, 2015 @ 5:05 pm | Reply

  10. 1/ ABove picture 27040HR clearly shows a light source VERY close to the moon buggy since the shadows behind the buggy go at least in FOUR different directions. That is NOT possible if the light source is millions of miles away. that light source cannot be more 50 feet away.
    2/ All, please check out this official site
    http://Www.lpi.usra.edu./resources/Apollo/frame/?AS14-66-9903 this is just one picture of the official Lunar and Planetary Institute Apollo archive where you can find every single Apollo picture ever taken (a few thousand of them) . So the guy showing a picture way above with many stars in it, pls let me know the picture’s AS number at LPI so I can confirm.
    3/ I have read carefully all above explanations about why a camera cannot record stars.
    A/ today with any cell phone you can look up the sky and an App will show you the names of all stars visible for you. a great App, you should have it.
    B/ The guy with the official explanation states that those millions of stars are actually there but the cameras cannot see them. I have just watched one of the info sessions with returning astronauts and all three of them stated that they did not ever see any stars. It seems that the aperture of their eyes were also set to the “wrong” opening and timing Remember, all landings are at dawn, with not enough sun light to block out ALL stars to the naked eye!. Well, stranger things have happened on the moon did not they?
    By the way my above AS14-66-9903 example also shows a very close light source.
    Interestingly, however, all these bad lightning Examples DO NOT prove that they did not go to the moon. NASA openly admits that they had a bunch of studio excersizes here on earth and a bunch of these pictures are from these studio sets. That is fine with me. My question is: why mix and match studio pictures (and videos) with actual moon pictures and videos and sell them ALL as authentic real things. That is immensely STUPID and gives fuel to people questioning the authenticity of the whole program.
    Finally, FYI, the European Union, Russia (who are much better than USA in space of anything, and here I will NOT take any counter argument,because if you do not believe that then you are either incredibly ignorant or incredibly stupid, a few examples, first orbiter, first animal up, first man up, first woman up) , South Korea, China, Japan, India ALL have thought of sending men to the moon (or beyond) at some point of time, alone or in partnership with one another but all had come to the conclusion that with current technology it simply cannot be done. Conclusion ALL these countries are stupid, they just should have bought the 60s technologies from the USA for $99.
    Cheers Steve from Toronto, Canada

    Comment by Steve K. — February 8, 2016 @ 1:08 pm | Reply

  11. Wrong. Although your explanation of cameras may make sense, it does not explain why noel Armstrong himself told sir Patrick Moore than he did not visibly see stars, nor planets, from the moon.

    Comment by keith — June 2, 2016 @ 2:42 pm | Reply

    • @keith
      You knuckleheads crack me up…

      No, you’re wrong. The human eye is not much different than a camera lens. Based on the intensity of the light, the eye’s pupil will adjust accordingly. On the moon with the abundance of lunar dust which is highly reflective, the human’s eye does not have the dynamic range to accommodate.

      This is the same issue when you live near a large populated area with lots of ambient, city light, you cannot see many stars from the horizon up to say 45 degrees. During the daytime on earth, the atmosphere contributes to the diffusion of light which ends up with the same results as the reflective lunar surface. Go out in the country at night (away from city lights) and the sky is chock full of stars. Again, standing on the moon with the sun shining on the reflective surface, the stars are not visible regardless if using a camera OR your eyes.

      Think man, think.

      Comment by Jim — January 27, 2017 @ 7:09 am | Reply

      • Hi Jim,
        They spent 3 days up there at one time but they never made a single scientific night experiment shooting stars, galaxies, or anything else, why? Do you sincerely believe that there was no need?
        Why did NASA go to the moon at the first place and why NO ONE else has even tried with hundreds of times better technology if it was possible with technology that is equivalent to your cell phone’s capabilties today? All you pseudo scientific mambo-jumbo is good for six-year olds and all revolve around one single thing that the light reflecting from the strongly lit lunar surface kills everything else on film or in the eye. That is all you got Bro. And that is your “proof” that they all went? Gimme a break! I agree with a guy above that background pictures with OR without stars prove absolutely nothing. The real proof must be as I asked above, why no one ever tried since to go?
        Another Steve K. Also from Toronto, CAN

        Comment by Steve K. — January 27, 2017 @ 3:23 pm

  12. This seems to be the end of this sub-subject. Now let’s see why we do not have a single additional comment since -which is now 1.5 years ago. The debunkers, including the “main expert” Stuart Robbins at the very top posit the following in short and I quote the gist of it:
    Now let’s say that the moon reflects between 6000 and 20,000 pieces of light per second, while any one reasonably bright-looking star hits the moon with more like 1 piece of light per second. (This is actually the approximate scaling between the two.)
    if we expose the film for 1/250th of a second, then the film should only pick up between (6000/250 = ) 24 and (20,000/250 = ) 80 pieces of light in that picture. Since 24 and 80 are both between 1 and 100, then we have properly exposed the moon, getting its brightness within the dynamic range of the camera.
    Now let’s say you actually did want to photograph the stars. With 1 piece of light per second, you would probably want to take a picture for around 50 seconds (to get it in the middle of your dynamic range). But, if you take a picture for 50 seconds, the amount of reflected light off the moon would be over 300,000 counts, and this is way above our dynamic range limit of 100 counts. So while that star may be properly exposed in 50 seconds, the moon itself would be over-exposed and appear all white.
    That is why the dynamic range of the film is not good enough to see both stars and the moon’s surface in the same length of exposure
    All the other “Pro” people, those believing that they went, are Phil Khan with comments on February 18,2010, and on May 23,2011 and Lone with a comment on October 20,2010, and Jim with a comment on January 27,2017 (Keith is a “knucklehead”).
    The “Con” people, those not believing that they went are: Garon with a comment on February 23,2012,
    Scott August 15,2015 he posts the famous watershed picture -as shown above- of hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a17/AS17-136-20740HR.jpg
    on which the “sun” is clearly visible on the middle top of the picture with the moon buggy at middle center and shadows streaking out from under it to at least 4 different directions. He also refers to other pics taken in studio environments.
    Then Keith June 2,2016 (Armstrong admitting not seeing any stars) and Steve on February 8,2016 and January 27,2017.
    As you can see after the posting -3 full years ago!- of the famous 20740 picture there has been NO ONE let alone any of the Con people, most notably our “expert” Stuart Robbins who by the way neglects to mention, as a “real” “expert” and “authorized spokesperson” for NASA (or for anyone else for that matter), his affiliation(s) to any “official” agency, which he should and, indeed, must, who has ever tried to explain why the sun is clearly visible on the film with a dynamic range “not good enough” even for stars let alone for the sun!
    So therefore who are the shrills, the trolls, the knuckleheads, the hoaxers, the wonkers, the idiots, etc., etc.: those who ask legitimate questions with the occasional pics as backups or those who maskerade around as experts and as soon as there is a “problematic” question or picture comes flying in their face they quietly disappear never to be heard from again? Oi Mate, Stuart, (or Phil?) are you real, where have you been for 3 years, we’d love to hear your explanation of 20740 please! Thank you.
    What does this all mean? Did the Con people win the war? No, at most, they only won one single battle. The war can only be won after a real, credible whistleblower with solid irrefutable documentations in hand comes out from under a rock somewhere, which will put the issue to bed once and forever. Which will not happen until every single “moon walker” is dead and buried.

    Comment by Istvan Kovarcsik — October 18, 2018 @ 8:36 pm | Reply

    • I have chosen not to respond because no one who believes in the hoax has said anything worth responding to. Be aware: I do read every comment, and I heavily moderate this blog. I am allowing the above post to go through, but further namecalling will result in your post with that namecalling being removed. Abuse will result in all of your future posts from being removed.

      Regarding me, I very clearly say who I am on the “About / Contact Me” page of this blog which links to my personal website. That you cannot find it helps illustrate your level of internet scholarship.

      Your recent posts have been full of clear, obvious errors in understanding which I don’t have the time nor inclination to address. But since you asked, I will address some. For example, on another post, you use Wikipedia and fail to understand how things really work because Wikipedia is not a substitute for actually understanding something. Regolith refers to macro material that is composed of stuff that is on the surface of a body, while soil is that but has a biological component. Regolith is therefore both on Earth and the Moon, though it is very rare on Earth when using this definition that most planetary scientists use because almost everything on Earth is modified in some way by life. Lunar regolith is extremely different due the environment and method in which it forms. You also talk about density, and say that 1.35 g/cm^3 is very small. It’s not: Water is 1 g/cm^3. Therefore, 1.35 g/cm^3 is denser than water and would sink in it. You proceed to then argue using your flawed understanding of density and flawed understanding of regolith. These days, as I said, I’ve just gotten tired of people not doing their own homework and have refrained, in general, from responding to elementary mistakes like this.

      In the above post, you again demonstrate a clear lack of understanding of optics and optical effects, such as lens flare, how bright lens flare can be, the effects of lens flare inside a lens, shadows from a single light source, lens distortion, etc. It’s the same old stuff that hoax proponents have trotted out for half a century that have been debunked time and time again. I don’t have the time to explain all these pieces to you, and you probably wouldn’t read it anyway, even if I did.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — October 18, 2018 @ 8:56 pm | Reply

      • Hi Stuart, thanx for the quick reply. Here is my promise, this is also my last comment on your sites. You were right about one thing, I did not pay attention of who’s site this is. I thought it was some kind of “public” site where everyone can post anything they like aka.
        “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Recognize this quote? Obviously this does not apply to a private site like yours.
        Anyway I was wrong, and I apologize sincerely, this is your site and it is clear that you ascertain the right to kick out anyone who does not fit your idea of a worthy opponent or even a like minded individual. That is why you will never hear from me again. Except for this last time because, again, for the last time I need to make a, hopefully, short reply to clear the air since, in my humble opinion you are wrong on many many dimensions and I do not want to leave anything on the table after I shut the door behind me.
        First things first: I do not hate you and I am not even angry at you, as a matter of fact I admire you for all the work you do, and I know, for the best of, even noble, reasons. Whether you work for one of the alphabet soup agencies or for yourself is not my beef although you should state any such affiliations on these pages and not somewhere else.
        Anyway, you threaten to kick me out for name calling, you could not be more wrong than that. You also happen to be NOT reading anything I have posted so here is one of my best for your perusal:
        “Hi gents, for the last time: pls DO NOT abuse each other with stupid derogatory words. it does not help!! the way i am reading all these remarks, none of you appear to be expert in anything relating to the subjects at hand. our job is to ask questions and try to expand readership so someone somewhere (a disgruntled NASA employee perhaps or one of their thousands of subcontractors??) one day will come up with the TRUTH. however not until ALL involved astronauts have finally died. Same as with the JFK papers. Trump wanted to bring them out but he was told in no uncertain terms that old Bush is still alive and no final release was possible until his death. After that young Bush will still fight the issue.”
        Comment by Istvan Kovarcsik — February 6, 2018 @ 8:13 am
        Have you ever read that, obviously NOT. You are just speaking out of the side of your mouth without “facts checking” as is one of your favorite phrase. FYI sorry to contradict you but I am not and have never been a hoaxer and also, more importantly, I am NOT on EITHER side. I am on MY SIDE only. Deal with it.
        Second, as I ALSO stated elsewhere, the biggest problem with your’s and most others’ explanations are that those, instead of clearing the air, just make the picture mudder and elicit even more questions. That is bad, very bad: it, most unfortunately, tells us that you do not know what you are doing notwithstanding my previous comment that you do it all with the best of intentions and with the best of your abilities,; more precisely you do not know how to switch from your highly scientific plane to everyday “kitchen language” so all these hoaxers who may or may not have attained your academic achievements could at least grip some of what you are trying to get across.
        Case in point: your latest comment/reply about the controversial 20740 pic. Read again what you wrote. Does it even make any sense? Does it answer for example why the shadows go out in FOUR different directions? Of course not. That is by the way yet another problem with you. Just like all other hard core hoaxers you are also so biased to and about your point of view that you are completely closed minded and absolutely refuse to see even a modicum of anything from the other side. That is not bad that is horrific and it, indeed, renders you not suitable to even run a site like this Bro. That is the truth. But again yours is a free country and you do whatever you want, first amendment anyone?
        Third, case in point #2: density of regolith on Moon. Read your reply, does it make any sense, of course not. You talk about water: what the hell does that to do with anything, absolutely nothing. And that Wikipedia is not “official” enough for you. Who says that YOU are “more official” than Wiki, eh? And on what grounds? Can you prove unequivocally that you are smarter than Wiki, I sincerely doubt it. By the way, FYI, Wiki did not state anything about dust on the surface it quoted a Cornell prof saying that. Which caught you with your pants down since you KNOW that if there is a couple of inches of pure dust on the surface of the Moon than there is no way in hell that your astro boys could ever leave foot prints behind. So your reply should have been this: the dude at Cornell is totally wrong (he obviously has never been up there) there is NO (any amount of) dust up there, all is pure Moon regolith in which you could leave foot prints behind -as per earlier explanations. Period.
        As for density of different substances check out the site called “Quora” (an order of magnitude more “scientific” than Wiki for sure) where there are REAL scientist answering you questions. For example here is one: according to Steve Maley, Oil & Gas Lifer and to Jude Warner, former research assistant at The University of Liverpool and many others, sand has a density of 2.65 g/cc. Have you facts check THIS? Obviously not. Why, because you know that here on earth you cannot leave clearly defined two inches deep foot prints in or on sandy surface. Every 6 year old knows that. So if Moon regolith is, and I quote from: NASA Lunar Petrographic Educational Thin Section Set:
        “The bulk of the regolith is a fine gray soil with a density of
        about 1.5 g/cm3, but the regolith also includes breccia
        and rock fragments from the local bedrock (reviews
        by Heiken et al. 1974 and Papike et al. 1982). About
        half the weight of a lunar soil is less than 60 to 80 microns
        in size….”
        and I am sure that even you will not argue with an “official” NASA page, then my friend you have a huge problem. Because according to this, Moon regolith is exactly HALF the density of ordinary sand. You know in my country they say “try to sew a button on that!” So if you absolutely cannot leave those prints in ordinary sand then how can you leave those prints in a substance that is HALF the density (NO moisture remember!) ? Something just does not add up here. 1.5 g/cc is “pure dust” Bro no matter which way you try twist this truth. Not to mention the small side issue that HALF of it’s grains are 60 to 80 microns in size. Do you know how SMALL 60 to 80 microns are, that is not even dust, it is pure POWDER!!! Therefore your answer should be as follows: Hey everybody, about those pesky foot prints: I am free to admit that NASA, in their rush to provide beautiful pictures as events were happening on the Moon at the same time, resolved to send out previously made studio pictures of the many many stage productions where the actual Moon landing choreographies were again and again performed. Nothing wrong with that. More importantly this does not prove that the astro boys never went. By the way the 20740 pic is clearly just another stage pic, just admit it, no sense of fiddling around with photo jargons.
        Case in point #3: In your closed mind you refuse to equate Earth and Moon regolith as one and the same, why? As I said, if Earth regolith was, in any way, different from Moon regolith then Earth regolith would be called something else: that is a simple, clear, and logical statement, again, even a 6 year old can understand. OK here is one for you, Earth regolith has moisture in it and Moon regolith does not which does not make them essentially different to call them two different names. A kitchen rag in your hand is still a kitchen rag whether it is wet or dry, no?
        Finally, finally I am getting tired so I am signing off for good. One last thing about my credentials to clear the air. It is obvious that according your tired and worn out observations I must be an ignorant hillbilly who has never mastered the great difficulties that junior kindergarten throws at your way. Nothing could be further from the truth. FYI I have TWO University degrees, studied astrophysics for two years as well, stuff that you have never even heard of let alone ever studied, for example how to measure and calculate the density and the speed of a galaxy a couple of hundred parsecs away, and I am actually an expert in something else what you do not need to know about. You know when Haley’s was here, I took a beautiful picture of it using two different computer systems, one to navigate into its path and the other to calibrate and direct our high power telescope in our observatory at the time. Could you do something like that. You should try it, it is a lot of fun.
        And that’s all she wrote. Now you can reply to this all you want to the rest of your audience but I will not be reading it so pls use 3rd person structures.
        cheers Bro, Istvan Kovarcsik

        Comment by Istvan Kovarcsik — October 20, 2018 @ 5:08 pm

      • And for anyone reading this in the future, the above is a perfect example of why I tend not to respond to posts like this anymore: A rant that doesn’t address what I wrote or shows that it was not paid attention to, along with an inordinate number of incorrect assumptions about me or my credentials which, again, are fairly easy to find, such as my having a bachelor’s of science in astrophysics, a master’s of science in astrophysics, and a Ph.D. in geophysics. Not that credentials matter, what matters is cogent arguments. The above is not a cogent argument, it’s all over the place, and there’s an entire argument above based on a faulty understanding of nomenclature.

        Comment by Stuart Robbins — October 21, 2018 @ 7:48 pm

  13. Istvan claimed to have two university degrees, but didn’t say what they are in. I’m not interested enough to look them up. However, he did tell us he studied astrophysics for two years, even humble-bragging to us about how he used two computers to take a really good photo of Halley’s Comet. So why did he talk about measuring “a galaxy a couple hundred parsecs away,” as if he’s clueless? 652 light years from the Solar System doesn’t even get us outside the Milky Way, let alone approaching any of the nearby galaxies.

    He also said he was neutral about the Apollo Moon Hoax, yet used many of the buzzwords of the True Believers. He pretended that we might’ve actually sent people to the Moon, yet everything else he wrote in his lengthy post told the reader that he’d already decided they hadn’t, and that NASA is covering up the whole thing.

    His attitude in all of his posts, especially in the last one, was condescending at best to any and all people he was talking to. It came across more like concern trolling, where the troll pretends to actually care about discussing the topic but refuses to consider they might have a few things wrong. In the meantime, he’ll point out, in scathing detail, all the stuff everyone else didn’t get right.

    His tone throughout his last comment was that of a tenured university professor showing his vast disappointment with his star pupil, Stuart Robbins. Istvan apparently thought when he first heard about Dr. Robbins, that the latter was a fellow True Believer. However, upon reading a few blogposts and their comments, Istvan came to the conclusion that he was dealing with a shill for NASA who barely had enough education to talk about anything in astrophysics. Anyone else reading his final post was obviously too stupid to even follow what he was saying, so he directed everything at Dr. Robbins in his final post.

    He also gave us a bit of Drama, as if he was rage-quitting an MMO guild that was about to kick him out anyway. They had gotten sick of his endless nonsense and terrible treatment of everybody else in the guild. He pretended to be the one being picked on whenever they pointed out to him how much he was mistreating them. The Guild Leader decided, okay, that’s enough. You’re gone! But Istvan just had to have the last word. /rq

    He’s not all that different from several of the people Dr. Robbins has talked about in his blogs and podcasts, who have similar attitudes about themselves and show similar contempt for any- and everyone who disagrees with them.

    In many ways, Istvan put on a big show for us. We should probably accept the fact that he totally failed to realize he’s not a funny clown.

    Comment by Rick K. — October 23, 2018 @ 12:54 am | Reply


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