Exposing PseudoAstronomy

May 16, 2012

Podcast Episode 35 – Apollo Hoax Photos, Part 2

Slightly late, episode 35 has been posted. I go over four photography claims dealing with crosshairs and shadows.

I’m also considering experimenting with making this episode (and potentially some other visual ones) into YouTube-type videos. Let me know what you think.

Oh, and this episode introduces a new segment — new news related to previous episodes.



  1. If you have the time, I think doing a video version of a podcast episode like this is a good idea. I can see how explaining the artefacts in the photos is helped greatly by including video as part of the explanation.

    If you do go ahead and do it, my only request would be to add the video to your podcast stream. Personally I’d rather watch the video through iTunes or on my iPod than to follow a link to youtube and watch there becasue that might not be possible if I am reading the post on my phone or from work. Having it downloaded as part of my podcast agregator is far more convenient.

    That said, I won’t be crying if you don’t because I imagine the effort of putting together the video would be twice that of the audio only.

    Comment by limey — May 17, 2012 @ 2:23 am | Reply

  2. Episode 31

    Photos Were Too Good

    Response: It is incredibly easy to view the original film rolls of each Apollo mission using online sources in order to see the plethora of either incorrectly exposed photographs or photographs which were accidentally taken while trying to change film magazines on the lunar Hasselblad cameras during EVA activities. Additional flawed images exist in which lunar dust accumulated on the cameras lenses to create fogging effects as a result of the dirty lenses. And of course there are numerous film rolls which show contamination of lunar dust on the Hasselblad camera’s Reseau plate and/or film fogging due to high temperatures, not unlike the fogging effects which any professional photographer would expect from storing film for hours inside a parked car for hours on a hot summer day. The latter in particular is seen in the Apollo 16 and 17 J missions which featured extended stays on the lunar surface during which the daytime surface temperatures were significantly higher than experienced during the first 3 Apollo landings. Some online links are shown below.

    Lunar and Planetary Institute, Apollo Image Atlas, 70mm Hasselblad Image Catalog:

    Lunar and Planetary Institute, Apollo Image Atlas, 35mm Nikon Image Catalog:

    NASA Image Science and Analysis Laboratory (ISD), NASA-Johnson Space Center:

    NASa Apollo Lunar Surface Journal:

    In particular, NASA’s ISD provides a plethora of raw scans which were made from the original mission film rolls.

    Episode 35

    Crosshairs Disappear!

    The Reseau plate crosshairs in every ISD raw film roll scan are always visible, regardless of where the sun is located in each individual photograph. In many instances single reflections of said crosshairs are visible in circumstances in which the sunlight was so bright that reflections of the opaque metallic Reseau plate crosshairs off of internal lens elements were bright enough to create distorted secondary reflections of the Reseau plate crosshairs onto the film. The important thing to realize is that, regardless of hoax claims, the original Reseau plate crosshair is always visible in raw scans of every original film roll image, except for cases in which the lens was very clean and in which the location of the crosshair is atop of the pitch black sky. If the lens was dirty, i.e., the front of the lens was contaminated with lunar dust, then the fogging effects of said dust can make the crosshairs visible even if the background is the pitch black lunar sky above the lunar surface.

    Comment by GoneToPlaid — May 23, 2012 @ 2:08 pm | Reply

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