Exposing PseudoAstronomy

April 15, 2012

Podcast Episode 31: Photographic Claims of the Apollo Moon Hoax (Part 1)

In this latest episode, I talk about some of the main photography claims that people point to in perpetuating the Apollo Moon Hoax idea, or why we supposedly did not go to the Moon with astronauts between 1969 and 1972.

This is a Part 1 edition, though the Part 2 will come in around a month or so. This one focuses not on the photographs themselves, but claims that the astronauts could not have taken them. Part 2 will address many of the main claims about what’s in the photographs as opposed to the existence of the photographs in the first place.

I also have a different kind of puzzler this time. This is a photography challenge, of sorts, where your challenge (should you choose to accept it), is to take a photo of the moon and a photo of stars. Then, use the settings you used on the moon to try to take photos of stars (and see what happens), and then use the settings you used to actually get stars and take a photo of the moon (and see what happens).



  1. I had a few thoughts on this subject

    First, when I take pictures with a digital camera, I often take one or two of the same item and in most cases I figure some will be messed up in some ways. I kind of assumed that this would be what the NASA Astronauts on the moon did as well. Seems to be more or less a “No-Brainer”

    Second, I read a lot about mountain climbing and there is the suggestion that Malory or Irvine, who tried to summit Everest in the 1920s but died in the attempt (or possibly on the way down. There is the suggestion that if one of the cameras which the climbers had was found today, the film could still be developed and it could be definitive proven if they reached the summit (no camera has been found.)

    My understanding is that on Everest, you are exposed to much higher levels of radiation than lower down (atmosphere is something like one third that of sea level) and would be exposed to extreme levels of heat and cold. If they expect usable pictures from 80 or 90 years ago, a few days or weeks in space would not seem to be a major problem.

    The only case where I have seen film damaged by radiation where pictures from Chernobyl. Not saying that there not other situations but that is a much higher level of radiation than it sounds like you would be exposed to on the moon.

    Comment by Desert Fox — April 16, 2012 @ 11:39 pm | Reply

    • Yes to the first one, and as for the Everest claim on camera film, I do not know the answer. Note that there is a difference between photographic plates and film where plates have their life extended by putting them in the freezer — not sure what they would have used in the 1920s in that particular camera, though. And yes, at Everest peak heights, you do experience significantly more radiation. This is a small issue for airline pilots and flight crews.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — April 18, 2012 @ 9:13 am | Reply

  2. Puzzler Answer
    Although it probably counts as cheating I did your puzzler some time ago.
    I took the series of images of the moon at ISO 800 F 4.0 and only varying the exposure time.
    That I made into a small movie, which is here :

    (Best seen full screen in 720p)

    By all means disqualify me for cheating 🙂

    Comment by Trebor — April 17, 2012 @ 9:16 am | Reply

    • Nope, as a Not Chew, I’ll count this as not cheating :). I actually really like that – great way to show the effect!

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — April 18, 2012 @ 9:14 am | Reply

  3. I’m a little late with this entry, but I wanted to wait for the full moon (or full moon -1 day in this case) to do this test. I identify the exposure on my DSLR with a 280mm lens, and I cropped in the same amount in all four photos. Obviously the moon is the upper two photos while the bottom two show Regulus at magnitude 1.3 in the upper left corner, and you can barely see another star in the lower left which might be HR 3980 which is a magnitude 4.4 star. Obviously nothing at all showed up in the lower left image which is exposed for the moon. The only post processing I did (Adobe Lightroom 4.0) is to crop, correct chromatic aberration, and reduce noise.

    Exposing Pseudoastronomy Podcast Assignment

    Comment by Forrest Tanaka — May 5, 2012 @ 12:56 am | Reply

  4. Since we’re talking about moon images, I thought I’d show a video I made of the moon. I took one photo of the moon each night from January 8 to February 5, 2012 with my DSLR on a Celestron Nexstar 4 (4″ Maksutov-Cassegrain). I then fed them into software to morph each day’s photo to the next to animate the moon’s libration. While I photographed from full moon to the next full moon, I reordered the images to go from new moon to new moon. Enjoy!

    Comment by Forrest Tanaka — May 5, 2012 @ 1:00 am | Reply

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