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Thread: The Great, "Can Stars be Seen with the Naked Eye in the Lunar Sky" Controversy

  1. #1
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    Why did the Apollo 11 astronauts not see stars en route to the moon?

    I recently read David Harland's pretty solid book, "First Men on the Moon". I was utterly surprised when I read Harland quoting Neil Armstrong as having said when the astronauts were only 10,000 miles from the moon and photographing the sun's corona,

    "It's been a real change for us. Now we are able to see stars again and recognize constellations for the first time on the trip. The sky is full of stars. It's just like the night-side of earth".

    They have been flying for 3 or 4 days through cislunar space, 200,000 miles of not twiddling their thumbs perhaps, but dang close to it, nothing but time on their hands to some not insignificant degree. Why wouldn't the astronauts can the lights and check the stars out, photograph them even? En route to the moon there are lots of opportunities for this type of thing and when I read some detailed accounts of their experiences, I can see very plainly there is a guy back in Houston coaching them on the photography; f stop, shutter speed, lens dimension advice and so forth. I am surprised they were not star gazing a little, if not carefully taking full fledged professional quality photos with the help of their photo adviser. The camera they brought was an excellent one, a modified Hasselblad. I am an amateur photographer myself by the way. I would have brought a Leica, but the Hasselblad was a strong choice I must say. It is odd.

    By the way, I am not a moon hoaxer type. I am actually a main stream thinker, a believer in the great beauty of the NASA Apollo achievement. I am a major space program enthusiast. However, I do notice that some people, the ones often times with the very best basic science backgrounds, change/modify their answers to such questions when they sense their best/first/intuitive answer has moon hoax implications. That does bother me a great deal I must say to be frank. People in my own camp sort of running scared from the hoaxer perspective. Answer the questions honestly for Pete sake!!!! This is science!!!! Not mind game jive!!!! One follows the truth wherever it leads and of course it won't lead to a hoax. Not answering the questions honestly implies strongly, albeit indirectly, their is great merit and strength to the hoaxer's general position, general perspective. The point is that these are legitimate questions and in that one regard, the hoaxers are indeed absolutely correct. We should all be speaking candidly here. Scientists just encourage moon hoaxers by avoiding answering these very interesting questions honestly. It comes across as not only disingenuous, but dumb too. Anyway. please give me an honest answer to this as I am not a physical scientist and am super curious about this kind of stuff. Thanks in advance!!! DoctorTea.

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    The Great, "Can Stars be Seen with the Naked Eye in the Lunar Sky" Controversy

    I was cruising the net recently and came across a posting by Tony Phillips. Tony is a NASA scientist who responded with a defensive piece in the wake of the 2001 FOX TV MOON HOAX feature. I thought Tony's piece, internet response was a good one; appropriate, thoughtful, effective and on target. Still, I felt obligated in a sense to respond to Tony with my own perspective.

    I am not a moon hoaxer. I am a "NASA DID IT, YES WE REALLY LANDED, APOLLO PROGRAM ENTHUSIAST", but to be honest, sometimes I have trouble getting my simple questions answered about the Apollo project because , at least I believe this to be the case, people feel if they gave the answer as their instincts/intuition/AND BASIC SCIENCE KNOWLEDGE dictates, they would be implying that the moon hoaxers really do have more than a leg to stand on. This does nothing less than infuriate me, because there this a difference between answering questions fairly and honestly and supporting a hoax perspective.

    Do others notice this doublethink as well? I am so very curious. Here is a small portion of the email note I wrote to Tony Phillips. Thanks to all in advance for your feedback. DoctorTea.



    Dear Tony,
    How are you. My name is Patrick. I am a physician living and working in San Francisco. I saw your little piece on moon hoax stuff from 2001, and though it is ten years now from your writing, 2011, I wanted to send you a note anyway.
    Since I was a small boy, I have enthusiastically followed "space stuff" and in particular, I have always been interested in the Apollo project. I never was and am not now a hoax enthusiast, but recently, I must say I have run into many questions that I have had a hard time getting a good answer to. I have actually queried a couple dozen professional astronomers world wide with regard to some of these simple questions and have an ongoing communication with some of these astronomers.

    I am told by the astronomers that my questions are very fair, far more than legitimate. Not infrequently, the astronomers write to me and tell me they think my questions are more than good. Some of the astronomers tell me that some of my questions are great questions. Some questions have been posted in their little forums, web sites. At least they told me the question(s) would be. For the most part, I do not check this. I am more interested in communicating with the astronomers directly.

    Though easy to understand, the questions have never been answered satisfactorily, at least never answered to my satisfaction.

    Again, I am very much not a moon hoax guy, but the questions do touch, albeit indirectly, still nevertheless importantly, on moon hoax issues. Here is the very first question that I originally posed to about 2 dozen professional/academic astronomers in their "Ask an Astronomer" forums.


    I was browsing the Cornell University Astronomy web site and I read in an answer to a question posed by a school teacher that one should be able to see stars from the lunar surface when looking up into the moon's sky "day or night" as there is no atmosphere. This made sense to me. So then I got curious and went to see what stars the Apollo astronauts were indeed able to see as I suspected one could see stars all the better with no atmosphere. Well I must say I found myself so very surprised to hear Neil Armstrong tell Patrick Moore in a 1970 BBC interview that the only objects one can see from the moon's surface in the lunar sky are the the planet earth and the sun. Neil Armstrong said in that interview, "THE SKY IS A DEEP BLACK WHEN VIEWED FROM THE MOON, AS IT IS WHEN VIEWED FROM CISLUNAR SPACE, THE SPACE BETWEEN THE EARTH AND THE MOON. THE EARTH IS THE ONLY VISIBLE OBJECT OTHER THAN THE SUN THAT CAN BE SEEN, ALTHOUGH THERE HAVE BEEN REPORTS OF SEEING PLANETS. I MYSELF DID NOT SEE PLANETS FROM THE SURFACE BUT I SUSPECT THEY MIGHT BE VISIBLE". So now I am very confused. The Cornell Astronomy Dept. people's answer to the teacher makes sense to me. But on the other hand, the Cornell astronomers have never been to the moon and maybe they are not as smart as they think they are. What is the correct "answer" if one could call it that? By the way, one can find the Neil Armstrong interview on You-Tube, just search "Neil Armstrong, BBC, 1970 interview, Patrick Moore". It is short and the stuff about not seeing stars is the first issue addressed.


    The professional astronomers that entertained this question of mine for the most part loved it. Not because of any moon hoax implications, but because it was so simple and straightforward in its posing, yet there was no obvious answer. There was no obvious solution. Many of the astronomers reasoned as did the Cornell guy who originally answered the school teacher's question, "Of course one should be able to see stars from the lunar surface". Indeed, when many astronomers first answer this type of question, they are very clear/direct in their statements. One could/should/would see stars from the lunar surface. However, my impression in my communications was that once some of the astronomers realize that answering with a strong affirmative(YES STARS!!!) meant, albeit indirectly, supporting the claims of some hoax advocates, well then, some astronomers sort of changed their answer, backpedaled on some level, which is sort of understandable because one is trying to reconcile two opposing views, perhaps even hold them both at the same time. Though not absolutely contradictory, the two views(what an astronomer thinks and what Armstrong said) can be construed as such, depending on the scientist's particular perspective, training, knowledge base, mind set. And so, my impression was that some astronomers would say one thing when the question was asked and there were no "hoax overtones" and then answer the question another way when they thought the question was asked to bait them into a hoax debate. WHICH IT WAS NOT!!!! My point here is that the answer, any answer, should not be context dependent regardless of how intelligent or kooky the questioner may be. A scientist should give the best honest answer he or she can, regardless of implications.
    One of the reasons that I am writing to you is that I wanted to point out that even on NASA's own web site there are pieces featuring facts about the moon which clearly state that stars can and should be seen from the lunar surface. Try this one on for size Tony. In NASA's website "Lunar Science for Kids", it is explicitly stated that one can see MORE stars from the surface of the moon than from the earth.

    I go on and on a about this in my email writing to Tony, but my reader gets the point. Best to all, DoctorTea.

  3. #3
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    Doctor Tea,

    First, welcome to BAUT.

    Second, I merged two of your threads, as they seemed to be about similar topics, and deleted the third as a duplicate. Just so you know, for all "newbies", your posts are held in a "moderation queue" until they are approved by a moderator (part of our anti-spam measures, nothing personal). That explains why you might not instantly see your post posted. A few more posts and you'll be in the clear.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorTea View Post
    I recently read David Harland's pretty solid book, "First Men on the Moon". I was utterly surprised when I read Harland quoting Neil Armstrong as having said when the astronauts were only 10,000 miles from the moon and photographing the sun's corona,

    "It's been a real change for us. Now we are able to see stars again and recognize constellations for the first time on the trip. The sky is full of stars. It's just like the night-side of earth".

    They have been flying for 3 or 4 days through cislunar space, 200,000 miles of not twiddling their thumbs perhaps, but dang close to it, nothing but time on their hands to some not insignificant degree. Why wouldn't the astronauts can the lights and check the stars out, photograph them even?
    On the way there, they had been in sunlight so it was harder to see the stars. Neil's statements were made when they were in lunar shadow. From here:

    http://history.nasa.gov/ap11fj/11day4-loi1.htm

    is a little more context for that statement:

    071:59:20 Armstrong: Houston, it's been a real change for us. Now we're able to see stars again and recognize constellations for the first time on the trip. It's - the sky is full of stars. Just like the night side of Earth. But all the way here, we've only been able to see stars occasionally and perhaps through the monocular, but not recognize any star patterns.

    071:59:52 McCandless: I guess it's turned into night up there really, hasn't it?

    071:59:58 Armstrong: Really has
    .

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    If I am not mistaken, the answer is very simple. When the astronauts' eyes were adapted to full sunshine, the stars were simply too faint to be seen. It is hard enough to see anything much fainter than Sirius in a sports stadium at night, when the ambient light is vastly less than in the daytime.

    Let's face it. Many of our scientists are woefully inept at answering such mundane questions from ordinary people outside of their professional circles.

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    Hornblower has it right. Direct sunlight is extremely bright, and sunlight-adapted eyes are unable to see stars. The sky was black, but the stars were too faint to be visible.

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    I guess we simply do not understand one another. I am an amateur photographer. Many of the Apollo shots, missions 11 through 17 are artistic, not scientific shots. They are artistic and documentary in nature. That was the intent of their taking. what could be more artistic/aesthetic/documentary than a shot of the Milky Way from Apollo 11. Try for Pete's sake anyway. The Hasselblad was/is a great camera. The astronauts might need some coaching but by Apollo 14 say, they could have it down to a "science". If they are photographing the corona which is only one millionth as bright as the "regular sun", why not photograph the constellations in deep space. It is DARK DARK DARK here. This is the photographic opportunity of the century!!! I would use a Leica, but the Hasselblad was a very fine piece of equipment. One could take outrageously good photos of the firmament there from near where they did the corona shots, mind blowing. They would be of immeasurable artistic value if not of any scientific value. The astronauts demonstrated their competence with the moonscapes. It would be easy to take these shots. And I imagine there would be times en route where there was not much to do. Look out the window(metaphorically), can the lights, photograph the Big dipper, Southern Cross and so forth. This is the chance of a lifetime for a picture taker!!!! This photography would not be not difficult. Can the lights, I repeat! Use high ISO! Open up the aperture for starters and then play with closing it down! Bring the pictures back and see what worked and what did not. this is how they would move from artistic shots to shots that would begin to have scientific value and believe me, they could move in that direction quickly. No one knew this thing was going to end in 3 years time and if they did, all the more reason to teach these guys about photos as well as the geology stuff. I would have had an assigned photographer and one assigned to be the geologist. then send Allan Bean up there to do a better job the next time. This is easy stuff. I just do not get it. If I told you that I had photos I took of the constellations from the command module of the Apollo 11 spacecraft/Columbia en route to the moon and that i had especially good ones when we got to the place where the corona was photographed, all you guys would be dying to see the shots, wouldn't you. If not, I guess I really am weird and missing something. DoctorTea

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    DoctorTea, this is the Q&A section: could you please boil down your question to a line or two?

    So far all I'm really seeing is an "I think they should have done..." opinion. To which the answer is simply: the Apollo missions were planned and executed by people with different opinions than you as to what was possible, desireable and achievable.

    If you have a specific question or questions, please make it or them clearer.
    I don't see any Ice Giants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorTea View Post
    They have been flying for 3 or 4 days through cislunar space, 200,000 miles of not twiddling their thumbs perhaps, but dang close to it, nothing but time on their hands to some not insignificant degree. Why wouldn't the astronauts can the lights and check the stars out, photograph them even?
    If you are a scientific thinker, surely the first thing you would ask is - how much brighter would the stars be, than from say, a rural location? Answer - barely perceptible, and *only* if viewing from a totally dark location with night adapted eyes. And then, how long does it take for eyes to night adapt given they were travelling in sunlight (up until then) - how would they have shielded their eyes / view from stray light?

    So is it any wonder they didn't bother until they were 'out of the sun'? These guys would have known that the view even from the night side of the Moon is little better than from a good location on earth.

    I can see very plainly there is a guy back in Houston coaching them on the photography; f stop, shutter speed, lens dimension advice and so forth. I am surprised they were not star gazing a little, if not carefully taking full fledged professional quality photos with the help of their photo adviser.
    Given the above, and as an experienced sky observer and photographer, I am most certainly not surprised.

    The camera they brought was an excellent one, a modified Hasselblad. I am an amateur photographer myself by the way. I would have brought a Leica
    Why would you have preferred a Leica? They are a much smaller format, so much less resolution, and they have nowhere near the flexibility of the Hasselblad, in terms of lens reach and quality, and the use of high capacity film cartridges - proven technology that had worked in space before.

    It is odd.
    Taking into account the above, please now explain why it was odd.


    By the way, I am not a moon hoaxer type. I am actually a main stream thinker, a believer in the great beauty of the NASA Apollo achievement.
    Jolly good...

    However, I do notice that some people, the ones often times with the very best basic science backgrounds, change/modify their answers to such questions when they sense their best/first/intuitive answer has moon hoax implications....
    It comes across as not only disingenuous, but dumb too...
    I find this rather insulting to the people on forums like these. Please give examples rather than that vague and unsupported generalisation.

    Answer the questions honestly for Pete sake!!!!
    I've asked you some direct questions. Show us by example. And by all means pick out your best example of a topic where such behavior has taken place, and I'll be happy to answer any questions directly and honestly, as I think everyone here would.

    And do you still think this was a 'great controversy'?

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    OK, specific question. Why not turn down/out the command module's lights en route to the moon and take some photographs of Venus, Mars and some constellations from Apollo 11?

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    A question for you: Do you understand and accept the answer to your first question?

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." Abraham Lincoln

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    Isn't it just the same reason we can't see stars in the daytime, ie that the sun outshines them? Astronauts could only see stars when they were on the dark side of the moon.

    As Neil Armstrong said in Van Rijn's quote above "Now we're able to see stars again and recognize constellations for the first time on the trip. It's - the sky is full of stars. Just like the night side of Earth. But all the way here, we've only been able to see stars occasionally and perhaps through the monocular, but not recognize any star patterns."

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorTea View Post
    OK, specific question. Why not turn down/out the command module's lights en route to the moon and take some photographs of Venus, Mars and some constellations from Apollo 11?
    G'day DoctorTea, and welcome to the BAUT Forum.

    In answer to your question: Because for most of the distance they were travelling from the Earth to the Moon, the spacecraft was in direct sunlight.

    Now they could possibly turn the spacecraft so that a particular window was facing away from the Sun, and they could then put shutters over the other windows. But that wouldn't provide a very big viewing area, and there's no guarantee that Mars, Venus or the Milky Way would have been in the window's field of view.

    It would also cause thermal problems. To keep the spacecraft evenly heated, it was kept in a slow roll. Stopping that just for some photos was occasionally done, but usually only when the spacecraft was orbiting the Moon. Doing it too often might cause problems, and Mission Control were conservative enough not to take chances for activities not directly related to the mission. Remember, the goals of Apollo were primarily centred on the Moon.

    Thirdly, the length of exposure necessary to show the stars would be long enough that a special bracket of some sort would be needed to keep the camera still enough to produce photos of any value. That's extra material, which means extra weight, extra training, and one more thing to get in the way. Neil Armstrong initially objected to the idea of a television camera on the mission, even though it would be the first lunar landing, as just one more thing for the crew to learn about and to go wrong. I doubt he'd have been too pleased with the idea of such a bracket.

    (In later missions, possibly. On Apollo 16 there was an ultraviolet telescope and camera, but they weren't intended to provide aesthetic images, and in any case it was deployed on the surface of the Moon.)

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    I am an amateur photographer.
    So have you done much astrophotography (or corona photography)?

    Many of the Apollo shots, missions 11 through 17 are artistic, not scientific shots. They are artistic and documentary in nature. That was the intent of their taking.
    Documentary yes. Could you cite something for the 'artistic intent' claim? Or do you just mean they were taken with aesthetic considerations (which would surely be the sensible thing to do for documentation anyway)?

    what could be more artistic/aesthetic/documentary than a shot of the Milky Way from Apollo 11.
    And how would they have gone about that? Please be comprehensive in your answer, taking into account and offering suggestions for shutter speed, f-stop, camera positioning, quality of viewport glass... How do you think they would have come out, in comparison to what can be obtained from even a small backyard observatory on earth? Your answer should take into account why telescopes are of quite large diameters - is that for magnification ... or light gathering capability? And again, please elaborate on what you think is the advantage, in terms of, say, magnitudes (or f-stops if you prefer) of shooting from space.

    Try for Pete's sake anyway.
    Pete Conrad? I don't understand..

    The Hasselblad was/is a great camera.
    Here, I agree with you.

    The astronauts might need some coaching but by Apollo 14 say, they could have it down to a "science".
    And yet the images would still not approach those from even a backyard observatory on a good night, for reasons you should be now aware of.

    If they are photographing the corona which is only one millionth as bright as the "regular sun", why not photograph the constellations in deep space.
    And have you researched those corona images to understand why and how they were taken? What exposure was used, and how does that compare to what you are talking about? What do you think of the quality of those images? Do you agree that perhaps these are in fact quite different to star/milky way images, and that the mechanics of such images are in fact very challenging indeed?

    This is the photographic opportunity of the century!!!
    NOT for the purpose of normal stellar imaging.

    I would use a Leica, but the Hasselblad was a very fine piece of equipment.
    As requested above, please explain why you would have recommended a Leica. Which model, which lens, and why.

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    Part One

    To the Moderator, somebody asked me for details, so i gave them. Hope this is ok.

    Great response! So, my interest in this stuff was piqued when I browsed the internet as mentioned above and in multiple "Ask the Astronomer" forums, it was mentioned, by professional astronomers, that one could see stars from the lunar surface. This was/is stated clearly, on the Cornell University site "Ask an Astronomer" site, THE LUNAR SCIENCE FOR KIDS SITE, also on a separate NASA site in a response to a question posed by an adult. This claim that one is able to see stars from the lunar surface can be found on other sites as well. Go and see for oneself. Right or wrong, this was stated, is stated, and is stated clearly.

    I do not know the answer to the question "is one able or not able to see stars from the lunar surface?". That is why I posed the question. I posed the question because I did not know the answer. For me, I could not care less one way or the other about hoax or not hoax. That is, I have no vested interest in the "outcome". I just wanted/want to know the answer about seeing the stars.

    It is interesting to me, the question as stated above in my initial thread. My intuition for starters was that one should and would be able to see stars, and that is what was stated on the Cornell University web site in the "Ask an Astronomer" forum. That was the first one, the first forum of discussion, that I looked at. That is how this started. The Cornell astronomer answering the question said one is able to see stars day or night from the lunar surface. That is plainly and simply what the Cornell university astronomer said. How else am I/was I supposed to interpret that statement? I did not/do not know if the Cornell University astronomer was correct. I had assumed this to be the case and had no reason to think Armstrong would say otherwise. I had never looked at that BBC interview before. Put yourself in my shoes. I assumed when I went to see what Armstrong had in fact said, the astronaut would rattle off a bunch of stuff about seeing this or that constellation, planet, what not, under such and such circumstances. But, as it turned out, I was surprised. Neil Armstrong said something different, at least that was my interpretation. He seemed very clear as well. It was a direct and straightforward answer that Armstrong gave. One could see the sun and the earth, period. That's it, no stars. Full stop. That was my impression of what Armstrong said to Patrick Moore in his 1970 BBC interview. Now I could very well be wrong. Armstrong may have meant to qualify the statement in a dozen ways, but that was not my read and that was why I investigated a bit. What would any reasonably curious person do?

    As mentioned, I had also seen/read the statement about one's actually being able to see stars on NASA's own site in 2 places, the LUNAR SCIENCE FOR KIDS site and on an adult question and answer site. On the kids site the author/scientist says one is able to see more stars from the lunar surface than from the surface of the earth. That is NASA, not the Cornell guy, not Armstrong. Am I entitled to my confusion or not? I am not so smart so as to know myself. All of these people have a better physical sciences backgrounds than me. They are all saying something different from Armstrong who also has a much better background than me, obviously. These physical scientists are not speaking with one voice about a very simple matter, at least so it seemed. One may check these things out for oneself, there are multiple statements on the web. Go and look!!!!

    I am a scientist by the way, just so it is clear with regard to my training/background. i am a physiologist/biochemist and work presently as a physician. I am most certainly not a physicist nor am I an aerospace engineer nor an astronomer. I really had and have no way of knowing what the correct answer was/is. I became familiar with Armstrong's statement and also learned Aldrin had said he did not see any stars. I was looking at/reading an Apollo photo book today as a matter of fact and Aldrin was quoted as saying, "the sky was utter blackness , void of any stars".

    Since somebody responded to my thread asking for particular details, here they are. Out of genuine curiosity, a couple of friends of mine and I, we swim together of all things, they are not scientists, we sent emails to about two dozen astronomers, Cornell, Cambridge, University of Virginia and so forth, AND TO EMPHASIZE HERE, EVERYONE WAS NICE TO US, RESPECTFUL AND SO FORTH AND I VERY MUCH EXPRESSED MY SINCERE APPRECIATION TO THEM IN THEIR RESPONDING TO ME AND MY FRIENDS. I actually have made friends with several of these astronomers including an astronomer who specializes in optics(on topic) from Cambridge. Nobody said my first question was stupid, inappropriate or anything of the sort. They all appreciated my question and some said quite literally, "Excellent question Patrick, I do not know the answer, but what about this?!" Some said they would "publish" my question at some point on their site as they thought it was that good. That is their opinion, that the question merits that kind of attention, not mine. I did not ask anyone to publish it. I just wanted/want the answer or to discuss it in an honest forum.

    This was all very great for me, because I could see that our having some trouble making sense of what our intuition told us, my swimmer friends and I, vs what Armstrong and Aldrin were saying, was, as a matter of fact, actually a problem shared by professional astronomers. Some thought they were pretty sure, close to convinced, they knew why Armstrong could not see stars OR conversely should see stars, and I viewed these strong responses/answers on both sides as quite reasonable in several instances, though not one answer was for me entirely convincing EITHER WAY YES OR NO TO ANY OBSERVER SEEING STARS FROM THE LUNAR SURFACE OR NOT SEEING STARS FROM THE LUNAR SURFACE. I was absolutely not looking for disconfirmation of Armstrong's statement. I had and do hold Neil Armstrong in the highest regard.

    Several of the astronomers, and they seemed competent, very very competent, but what do I know, I am not an astronomer, they had no idea at all with regard to the "answer" and really liked my question and it motivated them to look at Armstrong's interview on the BBC and so forth. I was frustrated though on several occasions because it seemed to me, and I believe I tried to emphasize this before, so excuse me if I did not, but it SEEMED to me, some of the astronomers changed their opinion in a sense when the context drifted into moon hoax territory, a direction that I did not take it in, nor did my two swimmer friends who know nothing about science and so they wouldn't begin to know how to intimate such a context anyway. We never even considered this angle ourselves. The moon hoax angle was suggested by the changing content of the responses from a few of the astronomers that we had queried. These few astronomers definitely swung from saying yes you could definitely see stars from the moon's surface to well I am not so sure now that I know what Armstrong said. And I am not sure of this, but it was my impression because of the language they used, that it had to do with moon hoax stuff. That is why I THOUGHT they changed their answer, though i do not know that for a fact. If I implied that definitely was the case, I apologize very much, but it is the impression that I got from the context of my discussions with these scientists and the impression i still have.

    Again to emphasize, I did not and do not care, at least very much about hoax stuff. I just want/wanted to know if one could see the stars. That is the question that my friends and i were playing with originally while hanging out at a swimming pool. That is how it started. That is what we cared about, what we were talking about hanging around the pool that day. Now all three of us have become sort of interested, not in hoax stuff, but in how answers may be context dependent. That is what the three of us talk about now more than anything else. We could not have cared less about hoaxing or not hoaxing.

    There never has been a doubt in my own mind about the truth of the Apollo landings, mostly because I personally view the rocks as impeachable evidence for the landings having occurred. On the other hand, I have never really cared all that much one way or the other. Not because landing on the moon is not a significant achievement, but rather, what has there ever been to doubt? Anyway, with regard to the astronomers, in no instance was there any bad blood or contentiousness about this, even as regards those who seemed to change their minds. I RESPECT THEM ALL VERY MUCH! I indicated that I was frustrated and irritated in a way, how could I not be when they told me one thing and then changed for a reason I only could imagine had to do with Armstrong's statement. That was a little "odd" for me. Sorry, that is what I think. What other word should I use? I do not know for a fact why 4 astronomers changed their minds. I can only assume it was because they saw the Armstrong clip, or just thought about Armstrong making the statement, his integrity, this is what changed their minds. and this is not entirely unreasonable, though I still believe i am entitled to my frustration and irritation. I do not want my medical students changing their opinions based on a higher authority. I want them to tell me what they think and why because that is the only way they will become good doctors. I want their honest to God opinion irrespective of what others say or think. So, in my own mind, taking into account Armstrong's statement though odd on some levels, is not entirely/utterly unreasonable with regard to answering this question, after all, he was there. Armstrong was on the moon. Why not take into account the empirics, Armstrong's statement? That said, it still bothered me that 4 of these answers changed. If and that is an IF they did change because they were motivated by Armstrong's persona and NOT his science, then my response would be, assuming the astronomers changed for the stated reason; I at least make some effort to ask more of myself and my medical students. If we prove to be wrong, that is OK, but first we should say what we think and why. That said, i understand the motivation to perhaps change an answer based on one's familiarizing himself or herself with Armstrong's response to Patrick Moore in the BBC interview. I can/could see no good reason for the astronomers to change their answer unless Armstrong or anyone else provided us with more details. Maybe Armstrong is correct , that is the reality, and it very well may be.and he may have no details to add here. My point has to do with the astronomers' first opinions whether they be correct or incorrect. the opinions seemed to change not based on anything other than context as best i could tell. Again, tho emphasize, I may be wrong with regard to this, but that was my impression. It only applied to 4 of roughly 20 answers I received.

    My friends and I , we all sincerely thanked everyone, all of the scientists, who wrote back to us and as mentioned, I am still communicating with some of these scientists and they have appreciated other questions I have asked on entirely different subjects. Again, I remind anyone, look at NASA's LUNAR SCIENCE FOR KIDS, Cornell university "Ask the Astronomer", or other sites. Its out there, not that it is correct, but that statement is being made not altogether infrequently. As a matter of fact, it would be an interesting poll. Ask all first year PhD astronomy candidates at major US institutions if one can or cannot see stars from the lunar surface and give one's reasons why. I bet there would be nothing close to a consensus. Maybe I am wrong, but after asking these bona fide astronomers the question and getting a hodge podge, a mix of answers, i bet there would not be a consensus among our young best and brightest. i may be wrong, but that is what i think.

    "Controversy" call it what one likes, but YES YES YES, sure it is a great subject. I do not know the answer. The astronomers I queried as a group do not know the answer in that there is no consistency in their responses. From Armstrong's statement one cannot tell if his remark was qualified or not(glare, no dark accommodation and so forth). Many view Armstrong's statement as unqualified on both sides of the debate. Many view Armstrong's statement as qualified on both sides of the debate. There is no clear consensus. This is a good question, perhaps a great question.

    First of all, to hammer the point, I found the statement in 2 places on NASA's own web sites, one site for kids, one for adults. The astronomers I interacted with and the few I continue to correspond with including the Cambridge optics specialist, liked the question as originally posed and still like the question as a subject worthy of ongoing discussion. For such a simple simple simple question, some high level professional astronomers did not/do not have a good answer per their own admission and these astronomers tend to be the ones that like the question the most. Let's see some one else come up with a similar question getting that kind of response from professional astronomers, a question any reasonably intelligent adult can understand. Of course it is a great controversy, or whatever other word one wants to use to identify it.

    I am not an astronomer. What am I supposed to say? If the astronomers themselves don't answer with one voice with regard to my simple question, well then it seems to be at least a bit of a puzzle and for an outsider like me who got a chance, an ongoing chance, to communicate with these scientists, well sure it' a great question. They aren't wasting their time with me, at least i do not think they feel that way. Some continue to write to me and their notes are often detailed, not brief.

  16. #16
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    Part 2

    To the Moderator, somebody asked me for details, so i gave them. Hope this is ok.


    Trying to be specific since specifics/details were requested, 4 of the roughly 20 astronomers that responded to me/us seemed to change their opinion about the star visibility in the lunar sky issue. And to emphasize yet again, I do not know if it was because in their own minds there were moon hoax implications perceived as being connected to answering "yes one should/could/would be able to see stars", but that was my sense. I would add, I personally do not see it that way myself by the way. I do not necessarily believe "Yes seeing stars on the moon's surface means yes Armstrong is wrong and so yes there was a hoax". I do not see it that way at all. I am positively and absolutely not qualified to say much about this in that regard. Who am I to interpret what it would mean if any observer can or cannot see stars from the moon's surface? What do I care? Really? I do care about the answer to the question, but the implications are beyond my frame of reference. Why should it mean there was a hoax if Armstrong or anyone can or cannot see stars? Why should the whole broader issue turn on this subject? I do not understand. I honestly believe that. I do not study this "debate" stuff with any degree of enthusiasm. But my observation with regard to the change in the scientists' attitude i believe may well be true. That does interest me greatly. And again, it is understandable on some level, and i was very sure to thank everybody who wrote back to me, especially the ones who wrote more than once and that would include the 4 people that changed their minds. Because these people caused me frustration and irritation, does not mean I lost respect for them. They took the time to answer my question and all considered, I believe they were making an effort anyway to be honest.

    I hope my writing all of this is OK with the moderator. Since some one asked for a specific answer about people changing their answers depending on context, i gave what was requested, lots of details as the story though not complicated, does require details in its telling. The background is very much necessary. I tried to relate my experience(ongoing) as best I could without identifying anyone personally which would be very much inappropriate. The internet is wide open, and I am sure many have friends in physical science fields that they can ask personally. Look on the net for oneself, ask your own friends. Anyone may repeat what i have done. Carefully ask a friend of yours who is an astronomer or aerospace scientist, without any preceding reference to Armstrong's statement/Aldrin's statement, ask if they would expect to see stars from the near side/light side of the moon. See what they say. If they say yes, show them Armstrong's BBC statement and see how they respond. I imagine the answers and overall outcomes will be interesting and quite varied and this would prove reflective of and corroborate my own experience. TRY IT YOURSELF!!!

    I wrote I would take a Leica only because I am familiar with these cameras. I imagine the Hasselblad was chosen because indeed it was ultimately viewed by the appropriate evaluators/photographic specialists as the best camera for the job, though it was modified. I have only read about Hasselblads and seen pictures. I have never handled one, so again, if I mislead somebody about why I would choose one camera over another, i so apologize. I have handled a Leica and like them very much, though I do not own a modern one due to their great cost. I have limited direct familiarity/hands on experience with super high level equipment. Leicas are cameras I have investigated/worked with. They would seem to me to work well given the circumstances, but again, i may well be wrong. I do not claim any high level expertise as a photographer, though I am a fairly talented amateur. I will claim with a fair amount of certainty that if the astronauts photographed the corona, I could, sitting next to them, take excellent pictures of the constellations that Armstrong described with a suitable camera with the caveat that before going, I would first try the Leica out as I am familiar with such a camera and if that didn't pan out as suitable, I would/could play around with various cameras here on planet earth until I hit on what i thought would be best, what would work for me. I assume this is how Aldrin, Collins and Armstrong wound up with the Hasselblad, some one looked hard and long at the issue and did a lot of empiric work with the cameras here on earth.

    If I offended any scientists/others with my first postings, i apologize. I probably can learn something here from all of you and I imagine I may have something to offer. Maybe anyway. Thank you, DoctorTea

  17. #17
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    I hope this is legal

    Hello chrlzs. I will do my best to answer your questions. I am still learning the rules. The moderator scolded me/admonished me a while ago. I hope it is ok to try and answer your questions point by point, one by one. Is that OK moderator?

    Yes I am an amateur photographer with some reasonable, albeit limited ability. I have 9 or 10 cameras. For the most part, these days, I use a Nikon D5000, sort of a basic/entry level SLR because of its ease of use. I also carry a little Olympus EP2 with me because of its size and reasonable functionality. I do not do a lot in the way of astrophotography. Presently, I am working on a film about bicycles. i have been working on the film for a year and for the most part, this interest takes up most of my picture taking time. It is a good film and many bicycle enthusiasts have expressed great interest in those segments of the film so far previewed.

    Yes chrlzs, that is what I meant and it makes perfect sense to me. I think the photos are artistic, having great aesthetic value. The earth rise photo(the world is upside down), that always comes to mind. And absolutely these artistic shots are the very best way to document the Apollo mission. They are utterly appropriate. I do not believe that I implied otherwise. I guess I was rather inarticulate in my comments. I was trying to say that when they first started, I would assume everyone involved expected Apollo would go longer than 3 years. Even if you knew there would be only missions 11 through 17, I would think they might have emphasized photography more, that is all. As one advanced through the missions, it seems there would be potential to do more with photos than keep taking the same ol' moonscapes more or less. I realize that they did take ultraviolet shots on the Apollo 16 mission. Again, I am indeed an amateur and emphasize that. I am just pointing out, from a photographer's perspective, it seems to me they could have done more. Obviously, this was not a priority. But from my wet behind the ears perspective, why not take pictures through the navigational scope and document the stars that one sights on the journey? I imagine the answer to this is that there are more important things to do and that is just one more complicated piece of equipment to work with. But as a picture taker, that is what I would want to see. Pictures of the stars they sighted on the way. It would be cool, artistic, relevant, at least as relevant as the moonscape shots they took over and over. My point is spread your wings a little and take different kinds of pictures. They did not do that. Most people see it as no big deal. I see it pretty much as no big deal, though it was in my mind a missed opportunity on some level. It was the opportunity of that century anyway, 20th. I think. I can always take photos of the bicycles. But the stars, from a spaceship! WOW!! Perhaps I am naive.

    You are so funny chrlzs, what is this a photo quiz. I mentioned in a note I posted earlier this evening a long one(hope this is not going to be a part time job) that i would play with the camera(s). That was my point about the opportunity. NASA said many of the shots taken by the astronauts were of very bad quality. they always bring this up and it is understandable. I do not believe anyone knew before hand what they were up against. But I would have taken a light meter, not on Apollo 11, but perhaps 12 and on, maybe 11, not sure, but tried to document what the conditions were, what a light meter read, or if no light meter, simply how the camera was set up. Vary the ISO, stop, shutter, lens. Play around with the camera, better than hitting a golf ball, I think anyway. I do not believe one could say what makes sense for sure. One thing I would have done would have been to load the camera with more sensitive film at times. I think they used ISO 160 on the surface shots. Is that correct? Almost exclusively. Why not play around with something more sensitive/faster. Assuming the program was going to go on for a while, one could experiment. Bring the picks back and see what worked. Then go back and do even better next time. I could imagine even setting up a planetarium that would in some way mimic the anticipated conditions and the astronauts could at least begin to practice and gain facility that way. Perhaps that is unrealistic, but at least a thought. My point is to emphasize the trial and error aspect to some degree. If so many of the photos were bad that Apollo 11 brought back, perhaps if they were more focused on the photography stuff they could have done all the better on 12-17. Perhaps not. May all be hindsight on my part and I admit I am prejudiced and I also admit I am not a night sky specialist, just an average Joe amateur who has tried this and that.

    No pun intended. "For Pete's sake" is biblical. The reader might wish to google something like "the origin of the term for Pete's sake". Using JC might be perceived as profane and so "For Pete's Sake", with reference to Saint Peter, has the same intention. All the impact, without the profanity. Google it, it's interesting. Surely, you have seen that, read that before. Haven't you?

    I saw a little documentary of sorts on that camera, that Hasselblad. It was/is amazing. I developed an interest back in 2008 for the "new" small cameras with the relatively big light sensors. Sigma had the first one and then Olympus and Panasonic followed. In a sense, this is junk compared to the great European stuff. But that is where my interest with cameras lies these days. The small relatively big sensor cameras like my EP2. If you have a small camera like that, you can whip it out no problem and there is a beauty to that approach. I brought one of those Sigmas to Beijing with me to the Olympics and it was VERY difficult to use. I am good with it now. They are not good at all in low light. Very bad for the corona shots. Anyway, I am by no means a camera specialist. Leicas are the best cameras that I have personally handled, but there are better than Leicas, much better, depending on circumstances. I know this to be true.

    Yes I get your point about the backyard observatory. It is a good one. But still, chrlzs, imagine this. You and I are in the Columbia. We are 100,000 miles from the planet earth. You have the Hasselblad, I have a Leica and I have teleported my Nikon back to 1969, come on dude! Aren't we going to screw around and try and take some shots? For no other reason than yuks. And some of these may turn out to be monster shots. If it's a bomb, then no one in successive flights will waste their time, but I for one would say "can the lights, give me higher speed film, let me play with this for a half hour". Betcha' of 20 shots, 5 would be real good. Just a guess. I may be way off base. But can you honestly say to me, you would sit there with that camera in your lap and not take a shot, not play around? Maybe, but i wouldn't . I'd give it a try big time.

    That book i quoted has all the camera settings for the corona shot. Look at the Harland book, it says exactly how Collins set the camera up. I believe it is even a quote, not positive, but very explicit. There is a photographic expert that tells Collins exactly what to do. I freely admit I am not an expert at this stuff. But you can go to many sites on the web and get recommendations for taking eclipse, corona shots, and other types of esoteric shots as well. i have done this. It is very good and free and not quite, but almost, a monkey could do it. The instructions are crystal clear and one can develop/acquire good skills taking these suggestions and then improving on them over time through personal experience. Google taking an eclipse shot. It's all there for free and a good place to start. These photographic web sites can be interesting in many ways too, not just from a practical standpoint. For example it was on one of these sites giving instructions on how to take a photo during an eclipse that I learned the sun's corona was one millionth as bright as the other/main body of the sun. Heck! I never knew that!

    I still think it is the opportunity of the century. Not for me. I prefer photographing bicycles and swimmers. But Venus from outer space? What about the fact that there would be no earth atmosphere absorbing light other than blue to a greater degree. I may be wrong about this, just reasoning as best I can, but the stars should look more red in a sense. Is that correct? I am not making that claim, but it would seem so. Anyway, might be interesting. The perspective would certainly be unique. Imagine if they had taken a dozen solid, not even great shots of the constellations at the time they photographed the corona. Now that would be unimpeachable evidence for the journey, but more importantly for me, amzingly unique photos. Just like the rocks, utterly unique. i think it would be cool.

    I have played around with Leicas, nothing more. The reason why I mentioned a Leica is as stated, I have held them in my hands and they work well, beautiful machines. That said, though not available in 1969, and though considered an entry level SLR, a simple D5000 in the right hands would probably work in outer space. i would be curious as to how my favorite kick around camera would perform. I imagine well. I also imagine the NASA guys picked the Hasselblad for a good reasons and reasons I would understand, though I just haven't seen enough stuff on the subject and to be honest, this is not my life, though given how much I have participated on my first day doing this forum, you'd think i was a space nut, camera nut. for the record, i spend a lot more time swimming than photographing and a lot more time bicycling than photographing. Anyhow, still, I did see this documentary on the Apollo camera, 10 minutes long. But there wasn't enough for me to get why it would be so preferred. I also saw the guy in charge of the Hasselblad team that made the Apoll camera give an interview. INSPIRING! What can I say. I never took a picture with a Hasselblad. I know it is good, but it would be unfamiliar.

    I feel as though i am being tested! Did I get an A?????

    Chrlzs, my bicycle movie will be out by the end of the year. I hope anyway. I will direct you to it. Should not cost you anything to see. It, hopefully anyway, will be available on the net. It is a long film, 6 hours about bicycle origins, development, racing, women and bikes, the physics/science of balancing(bikes are stilt walkers!) and on and on. Also has original music. A long Ken Burns type documentary. It might even get a little mainstream play. That is unclear at this time. Bet you like it and you can see some of my pictures. DoctorTea

  18. #18
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    Thanks!!! Am I getting better at brevity or what ???!!! DoctorTea

  19. #19
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    Hello! At last I detect a question, presumably rhetorical. Do you have another one?

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    though not one answer was for me entirely convincing EITHER WAY YES OR NO TO ANY OBSERVER SEEING STARS FROM THE LUNAR SURFACE OR NOT SEEING STARS FROM THE LUNAR SURFACE.
    And are you convinced yet? Please answer in a very few words. I hope you will leave this forum convinced.

  21. #21
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    You guys are funny!! This is so fun!! What is convinced??!! My point with regard to the above is that the astronomers thought my question fair. That was my point. i guess it was "my bad" because my point was not a question. I would bomb were I on Jeopardy. So I see what this is about now. the threads are not points, they are questions. I feel pretty dumb now. But I bet it takes some longer to catch on. Do I believe the astronauts landed on the moon? Of course I do! Do I have a firm opinion in my own mind as to what i might see from the surface of the moon were I to look up into the lunar sky? No, not really. At this point I would tend to think those astronomers who suggest one should see stars from the moons surface are incorrect, but then again, some of these people are NASA's own astronomer's. More likely than not, it seems to me Armstrong is saying one cannot see stars except under special circumstances . Such as i can see a truth, a correct answer, that seems to be it. Thansk for all the help and fun,

    DoctorTea

  22. #22
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    but the astronomers did not find my question mundane!!!!

  23. #23
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    ...it seems to me Armstrong is saying one cannot see stars except under special circumstances.
    You are quite correct in this. Is this answer satisfying to you or do you still wish further clarification?

  24. #24
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    Leave it for a while, I think the chlrzs guy wants to ask me some more questions here. I wrote out an answer to his last post, point by point including a reference to where the term "for Pete's sake" came from(was his question on topic moderator????). Maybe wait until that pops up, assuming it does so the chlrzs guy can respond if he wishes. Thank and this really is fun and educational. Seriously, thanks for all of the very good responses to my post.

    DoctorTea.

  25. #25
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    It appears that DoctorTea made bums out of some professional astronomers. They initially asserted in haste that we would be able to see stars in daytime on the Moon, and then were caught flat-footed when told that people who had been there could not see them.

    This reminds me of an old friend who was a world class mathematician who had earned his Ph.D. in advanced statistical analysis as applied to such things as multiple target selection. He was bumfuzzled by the failure of published Celsius and Fahrenheit temperature figures to plot as a straight line in a graph, and was chagrinned when I told him that the numbers from the newspaper weather report were rounded to the nearest whole degree in each system.

  26. #26
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    Now who is being unfair?! I did not ambush the professional astronomers. When I asked my question, as I clearly stated in my thread, the question posed INCLUDED NEIL ARMSTRONG'S STATEMENT! It was a sincere and honest question asked of the astronomers and it read WORD FOR WORD!!!!!!!;

    “I was browsing the Cornell University Astronomy web site and I read in an answer to a question posed by a school teacher that one should be able to see stars from the lunar surface when looking up into the moon's sky "day or night" as there is no atmosphere. This made sense to me. So then I got curious and went to see what stars the Apollo astronauts were indeed able to see as I suspected one could see stars all the better with no atmosphere. Well I must say I found myself so very surprised to hear Neil Armstrong tell Patrick Moore in a 1970 BBC interview that the only objects one can see from the moon's surface in the lunar sky are the the planet earth and the sun. Neil Armstrong said in that interview, "THE SKY IS A DEEP BLACK WHEN VIEWED FROM THE MOON, AS IT IS WHEN VIEWED FROM CIS-LUNAR SPACE, THE SPACE BETWEEN THE EARTH AND THE MOON. THE EARTH IS THE ONLY VISIBLE OBJECT OTHER THAN THE SUN THAT CAN BE SEEN, ALTHOUGH THERE HAVE BEEN REPORTS OF SEEING PLANETS. I MYSELF DID NOT SEE PLANETS FROM THE SURFACE BUT I SUSPECT THEY MIGHT BE VISIBLE". So now I am very confused. The Cornell Astronomy Dept. people's answer to the teacher makes sense to me. But on the other hand, the Cornell astronomers have never been to the moon and maybe they are not as smart as they think they are. What is the correct "answer" if one could call it that? By the way, one can find the Neil Armstrong interview on You-Tube, just search "Neil Armstrong, BBC, 1970 interview, Patrick Moore". It is short and the stuff about not seeing stars is the first issue addressed.”

    This is the question EXACTLY as posed. There plainly was/is no ambushing, the professional astronomers had a choice from the get go. As stated, I had no vested interest in the "outcome" and when I originally posed the question, I had some but little sense of any hoax relevance. The further I go along with this, the more I see it bothers people and the irony is I appear now to be the one with the most faith in the "official story" in that so many seem so scared of my "most excellent question" as one professor called it. Shall I ask these professors if I may publish their names and our email exchanges and really embarrass you cowards!!!!! Shall I invite one to log on here with me and give his or her name!???!!!! Cowards!!!!

    There was absolutely no asking them one thing and showing them Armstrong's statement after. They were given a choice stars or no star WITH ARMSTRONG'S STATEMENT UP FRONT!!!!!!!!!!!!! and this is precisely why they liked my question and were puzzled themselves. The astronomers were invited to look at the teacher's original question to the Cornell professor and I encouraged them all to do so and also very much encouraged them to go to You-tube and search for the BBC interview.

    The teacher's question to the Cornell people from 1999 by the way had to do with why we cannot see stars from the surface of the planet earth during the day. The professor answering the question in an effort to emphasize the role the earth's atmosphere plays in washing out the stars' light in the day, used the lunar situation as a counter example to emphasize the point with regard to the earth's atmosphere scattering light. And in giving that counter example, he emphasized the moon's not having an atmosphere and as a consequence stated simply and directly as I have mentioned, one could see stars during the day or night from the surface of the moon. Now I do not know if this is true, if the professor was/is correct. As a matter of fact, now that I have been discussing this here for a while I tend to believe Armstrong is more or less correct and that the stars can only be seen under special circumstances.

    But my opinion is almost meaningless/trivial with regard to what is or is not true, the science of this, and for the purpose of this particular post, so is the truth about what Armstrong and the professors say about all of this, IRRELEVANT! What is important is that I was fair in my asking the question. I had no agenda. I twisted no arms, and was 100% not manipulative. I was complimented by some of those queried and complimented strongly on more than one occasion. Again, look at NASA's "Lunar Science for Kids" and the Cornell University "Ask an Astronomer" posting where in 1999, I believe that was the year, the teacher asked why we could not see stars in the day and see if the astronomer did not give the lunar case as a counter example to emphasize the importance of our atmosphere here in washing out the stars' light, and in that counter example he plainly and clearly states one can/could/would be able to see stars from the lunar surface. It doesn't get any simpler and consequently more confusing than that. ARE YOU ACCUSING ME OF MAKING THIS UP? THEN EVERYONE, MODERATOR INCLUDED! GO AND LOOK AND SEE AND IF I AM VINDICATED BY THE SIMPLE FACT OF THESE POSTINGS, I WANT THIS PERSON EXPELLED FROM THIS WEB SITE PERMANENTLY. I AM NOT KIDDING! I DEMAND THIS! HE/SHE IS NOT HONORABLE. A PARSEC FROM IT!

    You my friend are a dishonest coward and I will forward a copy of this post to the moderator and demand you be suspended from activities here for some reasonable amount of time or more appropriately be expelled permanently from this forum. You are despicable.

    I ask everyone reading this post to go to LUNAR SCIENCE FOR KIDS and also check Cornell University's "ask the astronomer" from 1999, Check the veracity of my story.

    You MR/MR. Hornblower, you my friend are a rat! As Al Pacino said in Godfather Three, "Hornblower, your tactics are dispicable". It is not a quote, but it should have been. You are a rat! I mean that in no uncertain and very much not scientific terms. How dare you accuse me of being manipulative! HOW DARE YOU ACCUSE ME OF BEING DISHONEST WHEN IT IS YOU! This web site is a joke . And now that I know what you are about, look out you small minded SCARED people. FRIGHTENED , WEAK, CHICKENS, WITH, THE SMALLEST OF MINDS. DoctorTea

  27. #27
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    Let's sort this out.

    The astronomers are right that the moon has no atmosphere, so it has no atmospheric scattering, so you SHOULD be able to see stars from the Moon during the day...

    EXCEPT that you are standing on brightly illuminated surface, so when it is within your field of view, your pupil will contract, decreasing the amount of light that gets in, as it does during a bright day on Earth. (In contrast, when you watch the skies at night, your pupil dilates, letting more light in. In fact, it takes about 30 minutes in darkness for the pupil to fully open. This is well known among skywatchers.)

    In principle, you could see the stars if you looked straight up so you don't see the terrain. However, you are wearing a helmet with a glass visor, so even if you look straight up, there will be probably bright reflections from nearby objects on the glass. Next, I don't think that spacesuit would let you bend backwards that much. And then, it will take a couple of minutes for your pupil to dilate enough so you can see the stars.

    To top that off, your visor glass is artificially darkened, so you can actually look around without getting blinded -- due to lack of atmosphere, the Sun is much brighter in space than on Earth. Have you ever tried watching the stars through a welding glass?

    So yeah, if you could stand on the surface without your suit, then you would see the stars.

    As for photographing the stars from the Moon. A look at any website about astrophotography would tell you that minimum exposure time required for imaging the stars is in tens of seconds, which of course requires a tripod and sometimes a precision tracking mechanism. The camera Apollo crews had has a shutter speed between 1/500 and 1s. So no way of photographing the sky without spending some precious time rigging the setup.

    P.S. On youtube, there are beautiful HDTV videos of the moon taken by Kaguya spacecraft. No stars in them as well! This is because the camera shutter and iris is set to match the brightness of the lunar surface.

    P.S. 2. People who do astrophotography usually shoot the Moon at 1/200s or thereabouts. Contrast with multisecond exposures needed to image the stars.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    156
    And my point would be, set the tripod up and take a half a dozen shots at least or a couple dozen for that matter, forget about the golfing. What is a better way to spend the time? I realize they need to do PR, but I could not pass up on trying to take the photos if possible. If shots could be made, I would bring the tripod. My opinion only. Reflects my preference given the limitations and options and my interests. DoctorTea

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    You do realize that the whole can you see stars from the Moon question was not really bothering anyone when the missions were planned; in fact, it was irrelevant to just about anyone until the Moon Hoax idea gained traction in late 1990s?

  30. #30
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    156
    Thanks for the info kamaz. That is indeed helpful, very helpful. My point in starting the thread was only that the issue is discussed by some/most in a civilized manner and then there are a few who have anxiety when approaching the issue because of perceived implications. Then of course there was the question itself, which was my priority if i can call it that, understanding why one would see what under any given set of circumstances. I believe I have found an answer for myself in this regard. Also, I believe I at least tried to make an effort in pointing out that my views are not/were not such that stars in the lunar sky equaled/equals hoax for me. But I have no real expertise in the area of night sky issues. The temperature stuff, thermoregulation stuff, is an altogether different matter. I have very high level skill/analytic and practical abilities. I came to this site because i was looking for peers, others interested in this stuff. The astronomers are nice , friendly, helpful, but they are operating on a very different level. I am looking for a way to explore this with others that have curiosity and expertise that may compliment my own. Anyway, glad we are communicating well. DoctorTea

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