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Thread: Uncomprehensible apollo photographs

  1. #1
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    Uncomprehensible apollo photographs

    Hi!

    Здравствуйте!

    I am new here, but I`ve read your forum threads for quite a while.

    Loads of fascinating material to indulge through here!

    I have some pictures of the lunar rover without any slightest signs of tracks on the moon surface.

    This escapes me.

    Any experts that want to dive into this?

    Photos 2 and 3 are close ups of the original. Try to compare with the two last photos where tracks are clearly visible.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metz Moonflash View Post
    ...Any experts that want to dive into this?
    ...
    I'm not an expert, but lighting conditions and camera angle could be masking the track.
    Plus; dust kicked up by the rovers falls straight down. Therefore the amount of dust on the surface, or kicked up, can obscure the track rather easily.

  3. #3
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    Here you, Metz Moonflash.

    Good old Jay comes through again.

  4. #4
    Surface dust on the Moon does not act in the same manner and it does on Earth, and lighting is very different, and this affects photography as it should.

    Unless you are at an angle where a shadow is created into the track, the tracks are going to be very hard to see.

    You can get the same affect on Earth, but it's harder. There are plenty of photos of the exact same shot, where foot prints can be seen from one shot, and not seen from another shot, though both were taken at the same time with the same subject.

    Now, as to a hoax. Let's suppose, for the sake of argument, that the Lunar landing were a hoax, why would they leave out tracks in such a Hoax? Either the lunar rover was not moved, hence no tracks, or they deliberately covered the tracks.

    Why cover the tracks unless it was because they knew the lighting conditions should mean no tracks. In this case, no tracks doesn't prove a hoax, because they are missing in order to bolster the hoax.

    Why not drive the lunar rover so there are tracks, it's obvious that it was driven because sometimes there are tracks. Again, the lack of visible tracks in the picture cannot be used as proof of a hoax, even if we accept the hoax being real, because the hoaxers would simply ensure there are always tracks.

    It's this type of problem that all lunar landing conspiracy theories run into, they don't even fit a logical pattern if there was a conspiracy.

    Example, the always present "no stars" visible argument. Are we to believe that the hoax people simply forgot to add stars when they should be there? Something the conspiracy theoriest claim is so elementary that everyone should notice?

    No, because a hoax that fools all the experts is not going to be discovered by laypeople who lack the background knowledege to determine what is happening.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    I'm not an expert, but lighting conditions and camera angle could be masking the track.
    Plus; dust kicked up by the rovers falls straight down. Therefore the amount of dust on the surface, or kicked up, can obscure the track rather easily.
    Thanks for quick reply!

    When it comes to lightning condition and camera angle, you can clearly see the boot-marks all around. Why should it be different with the tracks from the tires?

    When it comes to kicked up dust, I will post two new photos where the tracks also should be covered with dust.

    Remember that the visible area in the first photograph behind the rover is quite large. Some part of the tracks could maybe be covered with dust because of rover or astronaut activity, but this amazing smoothness in the surface with the exception of the boot-marks, looks a little odd to me.

    In the last picture I posted you can see the tracks undisturbed covering a long distance on the lunar surface...
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metz Moonflash View Post
    ...When it comes to lightning condition and camera angle, you can clearly see the boot-marks all around. Why should it be different with the tracks from the tires?...
    You might not have seen Grand Lunar's post yet, but follow the link to Clavius. That site is the king of apollo information.
    I, for one, forgot about the astronauts themselve generating dust.

    and to re-inforce Xanthro's thinking. Why would you lift a rover onto a set when you can just roll it there?

  7. #7
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    Indeed, since the rover is capable of movement and is seen to move in the videos then why would one lift it into place on a 'set'. That makes absolutly no sense.
    In Metz's last post the first photo shows very clearly that there are deep boot prints and scuffed ground where the rover was. Given that the prints had to occur after the rover moved to that spot it is obvious that the original rover tracks have been obscured by the movements of the astronauts. Looking at the photo it seems to be an example of what Jay describes in that the rover was stopped and then lifted at one end to face the direction the astronauts wanted it to face.

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    Thanks for all the replies!

    I have been to clavius. I see he conveniently picks some photos where the surface is more solid and hard... therefore less or non-existent tracks.

    Remember; I never said anything about a hoax. I started this thread to hear some comments on some lunar photographs that troubled me.

    Look at the photo previously posted called "tramped soil" You are right. Astronaut`s activities can kick up dust and cover the tracks. I agree on that. But look at the surface where the astronauts danced around. Looks like a sandbox after a whole kindergarden has been through.

    Compare now with the surface on the original photo(I am posting two more close-up crops) You can see a few bootprints clearly, but otherwise the surface where the tracks should be visible or covered by the activity, is smooth like the sand in a japanese garden.
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  9. #9
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    I`m posting from europe.
    I will be busy the rest of the evening, but I will check inn here again tomorrow.

    I wish you all a formidable day!

  10. #10
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    Greetings!

    I'd recommend a journey to the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal, and see if the first three images are from one of the places where the rover was movedd by the astronauts.

    Fred
    "For shame, gentlemen, pack your evidence a little better against another time."
    -- John Dryden, "The Vindication of The Duke of Guise" 1684

  11. #11
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    The first 3 images in the OP, and the last 2 images above, are really all the same image (AS17-133-20342) from Station 5.

    I don't agree that "he conveniently picks some photos where the surface is more solid and hard". The ground (from A17 station 2) looks comparable to me.

    In any case, the various photographs illustrate that from different viewing and illumination angles tread prints (both from boots and rover tracks) can be highly visible or virtually invisible. That's what's happening here. It is a striking optical phenomenon.

    BTW, "Metz Moonflash" would be an awesome name for the shortstop on the Moon's major-league baseball team.

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    You have to remember that the photo in question was one of a series taken. When you look at the previous one, the track is certainly there. You can see that the track appears fairly light in the area, as so the footprints. The footprints go from the side and around the back, esentially destroying the light tracks near the back of the rover as see in the previous image.

  13. #13
    Metz, what do you think the pictures show? As has been pointed out the pictures are part of a sequence which implies that the tracks are there or they wouldn't be in the otyher pictures in the sequence.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metz Moonflash View Post
    I`m posting from europe.
    I will be busy the rest of the evening, but I will check inn here again tomorrow.

    I wish you all a formidable day!
    Don't forget to look at the link I provided in my first post.

  15. #15
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    He did. In post #8 he said
    I have been to clavius. I see he conveniently picks some photos where the surface is more solid and hard... therefore less or non-existent tracks.

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    Oh. Silly me, didn't know he looked at the particular section itself.

    Ah well, he still has doubts, despite the informaiton presented.

    Here we go again......

  17. #17
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    Metz - if there were indeed a NASA conspiracy, why do you think that they would consistently publish photos over a nearly 40 year period which would "expose" thier conspiracy? Is not the simplest of all answers "Because there is no conspiracy?" It's hard for me to believe they would be capable of such a decades spanning program of coverups impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, all over the world, but that they aren't capable of enough quality control to keep from accidentally publishing photos which "expose" the hoax for 30 years.

    That said, I do hope you read the BA and Clavius site with an open mind. Best of luck.

  18. #18
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    Good morning sunshine!

    Hello there again!


    Thaks again for all the feedback.
    Remember again that I posted this thread to analyze this signle photo. Not to analyze the logic surrounding a conspiracy or a hoax.

    I absolutely agree on all your points.

    The link Phantom Wolf posted, explained a lot to me. But I actually expected an original track to be there. I never thought that this vehicle must have been lifted into place.

    My question is about how the tracks were covered in this speciffic location. Is there a video of the activities the astronauts did on this spot?

    Was there any astronaut activity between the rover and the point where the photos was taken?

    On the last crop(yes it is still the same photo) you can see bootprints behind the rover, and bootprints in the front of the rover. I peronally, cannot see any bootprints inside the triangle shaped by the two facing wheels and the camera. There is some marks there actually, between the wheels. Marks, not bootprints. And that just confirms the fine nature of the dust as well.
    I am sure the tracks were visible there when the rover parked. They were then covered by dust. I agree. But the astronauts does not seem to have been around that area. The bootprint concentration is in front and back of the rover.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metz Moonflash View Post
    I peronally, cannot see any bootprints inside the triangle shaped by the two facing wheels and the camera. There is some marks there actually, between the wheels. Marks, not bootprints.
    Please do not take offence here, but I, personally can see those marks and they look consistent with scuffed footfall marks. I would not neccessarily expect perfectly maintained boot prints.

    I do understand your interest in the photographs from the moon, but we seem to be looking for ever smaller inconsistencies, and they just don't seem to be turning up.... The photgraphic record keeps being shown to be accurate and consistent with the ALSJ etc...

  20. #20
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    I think a big part of it has to do with the constrution of the wheels on the rover. They are a wire mesh with a bit of reinforcement. You can sort of see it in one of the pictures in the OP. This means the loose, dry dirt would flow up through them a little, then fall back down, leaving much less of a footprint that the average ATV. It would sort of be like pressing a wire strainer down onto a mound of flour. The boots were more or less solid on the bottom, so the dirt had to compress. Does anyone have the ground pressure for the rover? For about 300 pounds of astronaut in suit (50 on the moon) with a pair of 14 by 6 inch foot prints, I get about 0.3 psi for ground pressure, though I'd feel better about it if someone could confirm/correct it.
    I'm Not Evil.
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  21. #21
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    Hi Metz Moonflash. You have revived some good old memories because I often used Metz flash units in my early days as a professional photographer.

    There are two photos taken during Apollo 15, AS15-85-11470 and AS15-85-11471 which, like those you posted, show no rover tracks, yet in the second photo the rover is moving. Except for the details about the rover moving, it is simply a case of the astronauts kicking dust over the tracks. You can view them kicking dust all the time if you watch the many hours of video that are available on DVD. In fact, it is more surprising if they don't kick a lot of dust. As pointed out above, you also have to understand the construction of those very expensive wheels.

    I did an analysis of the two photos at the old Apollo Hoax board and you may be interested in it, so will paste it below. Go to The Apollo Lunar Surface Journal
    http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/Hi...s15.html#Mag85
    and page down to the appropriate numbers to view the photos and captions. Here is the journal entry:
    http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/Hi...m.html#1430351


    The analysis -- study the details in the photos as you read it and it will become clear:

    ...this photo is AS15-85-11471 and the journal refers to it at ground elapsed time 143:03:52. The reason for no tyre marks behind the wheels is that Dave Scott and Jim Irwin have been working all around the rover, loading it up for their second EVA. You can see the change to a lighter soil colour beyond where the astronauts trod at the rear of the rover, and in the background are tyre marks from the previous day's activities.

    Round about this time Dave performed a steering check and Jim had yet to climb aboard. However, you can see dust falling from both of the wheels, so what exactly is going on?

    Context. Context. Read the text of the journal, compare this photo with the previous one, and it all becomes clear.

    In AS15-85-11470, the top of the dark band on the rear wheel is between 11 and 12 o'clock, and the dark band at Dave's wrist is left of the dark handle on his Hasselblad camera. In 11471, Jim has stepped back a little and to his left so the perspective has changed, but we can still see that the rear wheel has rotated to between 12 and 1 o'clock and the band on Dave's arm is forward of the camera handle, showing that he has pushed the joy stick forward.

    So what we're most likely looking at in the two photos is that in AS15-85-11470 the rover is stationary, as evidenced by Jim having time to move back and to the left for the next photo, and in AS15-85-11471 we are seeing the very first motion of the rover for that day. It has moved so little that it hasn't yet laid down a visible length of tracks in the stirred-up lunar soil.

    A further indication that the rover is just getting under way is that in both photos the TV camera at the front is in the stowed position, showing that Ed Fendell back in Houston is yet to start work, operating it by remote.

    The caption for AS15-85-11471 in the ALSJ's Apollo 15 Image Library says "Jim has taken a step to his left to take a stereo companion to 11470." I doubt this, as he would not have needed to move so far to the left as he did, nor would he have also stepped backwards to take the second shot of a stereo pair. He moved for some other reason, probably to simply get more of the rover in the second photo.

  22. #22
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    Hi again, Metz Moonflash

    Have you looked at the entire pan which your first picture was part of?
    http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/Hi...64906_jpan.jpg

    Tracks and footprints don't show well because the photo is down-sun -- the shadows are mostly hidden. But look at other parts of the pan -- there are more shadows and a great deal more texture where the tracks and footprints would show much better, if there were any.

    This is the sort of thing you can check out for yourself: Pick some texture on the ground and photograph it from different angles when the sun is low -- down-sun, up-sun, cross-sun. You will see exactly the same differences as are shown here.

    Here's another pan of the same scene but from a completely different angle. If you weren't told, you may not even guess that it is the same scene:
    http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/Hi...64906_gpan.jpg

    You asked questions about what happened in the area. Have you looked at all the photos and read all about Station 5 in the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal? Here's just the one part which covers the time of your photos:
    http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/Hi...5.html#1464909

    ...this amazing smoothness in the surface with the exception of the boot-marks, looks a little odd to me.

    Could that be because you are not an experienced photographer? It doesn't look odd to me at all.

    Can you tell which dust is pristine, untouched and which has been kicked around? I certainly can't. Who's to say the entire area hasn't been kicked over and then imprinted with just a few recent footprints?

    Also, you seem to expect dissimilar scenes, from different missions, on different areas of the moon, and photographed in different light, to look the same. Is that a realistic expectation? I don't think it is. Next time you are on a beach, walk around and carefully inspect footprints and tyre marks in different places and different lighting. Photograph them too. You might be amazed at the differences and what you see in these photos will no longer look odd to you.

    Occasionally I feel that some people examine the lunar surface photos far more intently than they ever examine their own snapshots, which is an odd thing to do.

    When it comes to kicked up dust, I will post two new photos where the tracks also should be covered with dust.

    Here, you are doing completely the wrong thing and if you were an experienced photographer or did the things I suggest above, you would understand why I say that. You are comparing a down-sun photo with up-sun and cross-sun photos. And why do you say the tracks should they be covered with dust? I don't think so. The up-sun photo shows the results of quite a long walk from the Apollo 14 lunar module and the cart that left the tracks was dragged behind the astronaut who towed it, so I can't think of any reason why the tracks should be covered with dust, particularly because I can see the tracks of the other astronaut well away from those of the cart. What are your reasons for thinking the tracks should be covered?
    Last edited by Kiwi; 2006-Oct-18 at 12:28 PM.

  23. #23
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    I've marked out the footprints I can see, there are a couple that might be some more but the angle and lighting makes it hard to tell.
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  24. #24
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    Maybe the layer of moondust is thinner in some places than others? That might explain some of the variations in track depth.

    - Maha "blazing a trail" Vailo

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    I think a lot of it is lighting. The sun is over the right shoulder of the photographer, so when we see the footprints on his left we are mostly seeing the sunlit part of them and little shadow to define them. The ones to his right have some shadow in them that we can see and so are more definded to the camera. Jay has some great picture of up sun and down sun texture differences, but I can't locate them currently. We're seing down sun and cross sun here.

    eta: they are in the middle of this page

    up sun
    down sun

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
    I think a lot of it is lighting... Jay has some great picture of up sun and down sun texture differences, but I can't locate them currently.

    ...they are in the middle of this page -- up sun -- down sun

    Thanks, PhantomWolf. I searched Clavius without success in the hope of linking to those in my last post.

    Part of the problem is lighting, as I mentioned, and JayUtah's photos illustrate it well. You can clearly see the difference in texture and shadow between down- and cross-sun in the pans I linked.

    Metz Moonflash, check out Jay's photos and take your own to prove it to yourself. Here's another good site with basic information about how you can duplicate some of the effects in lunar surface photos: http://www3.telus.net/summa/moonshot/index.htm

    The other part of the problem is kicked soil, and in down-sun photos any change from light to dark soil is often less visible. It's not like a beach or garden on earth where you can often kick dry sand or soil onto wet and vice versa. But in any case, just because we sometimes see a change in colour where the astronauts or LM have churned up the soil, it would be foolish of us to expect to see it in every case. And that is often one of the greatest faults of hoax-believers -- faulty expectations.
    Last edited by Kiwi; 2006-Oct-19 at 12:40 PM.

  27. #27
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    not to mention that the rover sits very lightly in the ground AND when it moves around it makes quite a mess. I'd say the rover goes quite a way to mask its own tracks just by driving.

    the only image so far that showed the tracks clearly was the image with the sun BACKLIGHTING the tracks.

    The shots where the sun is at the back of the photographer are the ones where the tracks are hard to see..

    that is not a co-incedence.

  28. #28
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    Hello again!


    Many thanks for all the feedback!
    I really apreciate it!



    I have a some questions some might have the answer to or at least know where to find the information regarding them.

    If I am not mistaken, the positive film used in the hasselblad cameras on the apollo missions were specially manufactured by kodak.

    I am particularly interested in the color film.
    Was it the exact same color film that was used during the whole mission? (missions)
    I know they had a lot of film magazines. But was the same type of color film used taking photos inside the module, lem and on the surface itself?

    Maybe there is a website that provide this facts?

    Excuse me if I`m not spelling everything right. English is my third language and I cannot say that I master it without any imperfections.

  29. #29
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    Hello, Metz.

    Do you have any comments to the replies provided to your previous questions?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDog View Post
    Hello, Metz.

    Do you have any comments to the replies provided to your previous questions?
    First of all I thank everyone that took the time to reply!

    I agree on most comments.

    I off course know that light dirrection plays a critical role in figuring out any footprints or tracks in this picture.

    But still the footprints are there. Mostly in front of the rover and in the back. Maybe there are some between the wheels too. It is open to speculations. If these few sporadic footprints(or other marks) covered the tracks, or if the tracks were covered by the dust spread by the weels themselves. The high back-light conditions can also be the reason they are not visible in the first place.

    I am clearly aware of the fact that the two other pictures I posted to comparison have a completely different lightning. Both footprints and tracks are more visible with side-light or front-light. I posted them to show that tracks can be as visible on the moon surface as the footprints.

    Maybe some lightning conditions favors both footprints and track-marks, and others just the footprints.

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