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    AdrianCavinder's Avatar
    AdrianCavinder Posts: 55, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Nov 17, 2014, 06:04 AM
    Moon landing: Irrefutable proof?
    Okay, well, I’m no scientist or astronomer, but there still seems to be conspiratory theorists plugging away on the idea that the whole Apollo mission was a huge hoax. It would seem to me that one way to put the cat to bed would be to actually show evidence of the landing. They left a USA flag and my question is fairly straightforward: if we have satellites orbiting the Earth that can pick up car license plates, couldn’t the same satellite/s be positioned to pick up the flag on the moon? At least in theory perhaps. Whether the powers that be would want to is another question. Anyway, just curious to know if we have the technical ability to show definitively that the landing actually took place. Cheers. Adrian
    ebaines's Avatar
    ebaines Posts: 12,130, Reputation: 1307
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    #2

    Nov 17, 2014, 01:39 PM
    It's impossible to see the moon landing sites using Earth-based telescopes, due to the immense distance involved. One would need a telescope with an aperture at least 300 feet in diameter to make out an object 250,000 miles away that is ten feet across, which is about the size of the LEM lower stage left behind. To see the flag on the moon would require a telescope about 1,000 feet in diameter. To put that in perspective - the largest telescope in the world has an aperture of 34 feet.

    The determination of the size of the scope needed comes from the formula for resolving power for telescopes:



    where:

    R = angular resolution in radians, which for this example is 10 ft/(250,000 miles x 5280 ft/mi) = 7.6 x 10^(-9) radians
    is the wavelength of visible light, which is around 580 nM, or 1.9 x 10^(-6) ft.
    D is the diameter of the scope in feet.

    Of course if you can get closer to the moon you can use a smaller telescope. Last year the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter did just what you ask - it snapped photos of several of the the Apollo landing sites from lunar orbit, and specifically you can see the Apollo 11 lander as a white speck in the photo. See: Photos: New Views of Apollo Moon Landing Sites | Moon Exploration and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_R...ssance_Orbiter

    Regarding satellites being able to resolve a license plate from orbit - if you crunch the numbers for a resolution of 1 inch from an orbit of 100 miles it turns out the scope must be about 12 feet across - certainly doable.
    cdad's Avatar
    cdad Posts: 12,687, Reputation: 1438
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    #3

    Nov 17, 2014, 06:12 PM
    The simple answer is that yes we have been to the moon. You want "proof" ? How about that little piece of hardware that we left behind so we could bounce a laser off of it to measure the distance ?

    Here you go.

    Lunar Laser Ranging experiment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,278, Reputation: 7690
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    #4

    Nov 17, 2014, 10:48 PM
    I will agree to the license plate issue. In my past employment, I have seen it done, along with much more. But again, it deals with distance and line of sight. Buildings, clouds, trees, and more, can cause problems with visual.

    But of course, many people, do believe it was a hoax. my mother went to her grave, believing it was all a lie, to prove to the nation, that we were better than Russia.
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #5

    Nov 18, 2014, 06:29 AM
    There is an element of people that could be standing outside at midnight... arguing its not really nighttime. Just because their watch is wrong. Some people are delusional, or just plain stupid and will believe anything they want to believe. Like Alien Abductions. Ever notice the type of people that get abducted? Its not a coincidence that mentally unstable drunks , living in trailer parks with a poor education tend to be the only people abducted.

    The point being irrefutable ...is a relative term.
    AdrianCavinder's Avatar
    AdrianCavinder Posts: 55, Reputation: 1
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    #6

    Nov 18, 2014, 06:28 PM
    Thanks ebaines et al. I would take issue with questioning people being termed ‘delusional’ though. Just because their perspective is against the norm, that shouldn’t condemn them to the stupid silo. Galileo was ‘stupid’ by the same criterion.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #7

    Nov 18, 2014, 07:57 PM
    If Apollo was a hoax, then wouldn't anything done now that is meant to 'prove' the mission landed also likely be a hoax? Tell me, who are you going to trust?
    Space X maybe, but they are a for profit business, so you would have to pay them.

    As for Galileo, his writings clearly show that he wasn't stupid. He was just a heretic in his day.
    ebaines's Avatar
    ebaines Posts: 12,130, Reputation: 1307
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    #8

    Nov 19, 2014, 06:46 AM
    The only proofs that are "irrefutable" - which is what the OP asked asked for - are mathematical ones. All else - scientific laws, historical facts, etc - we have to accept based on some level of faith. It helps to have a preponderance of evidence that backs up the claim of fact, but outside of mathematics nothing is totally irrefutable.
    tickle's Avatar
    tickle Posts: 23,801, Reputation: 2674
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    #9

    Nov 19, 2014, 09:22 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianCavinder View Post
    Thanks ebaines et al. I would take issue with questioning people being termed ‘delusional’ though. Just because their perspective is against the norm, that shouldn’t condemn them to the stupid silo. Galileo was ‘stupid’ by the same criterion.
    Could you have accomplished what Galileo did in the l500s, my gosh, he was a mathematician, engineer, astronomer, and philosopher (read about his accomplishments) in an unlightened age, and you are saying he was stupid?
    AdrianCavinder's Avatar
    AdrianCavinder Posts: 55, Reputation: 1
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    #10

    Nov 19, 2014, 12:17 PM
    Okay, well, no-one was saying Galileo was stupid - that’s why stupid was in ''. However, my point was simple (I thought): In his time, he was considered a crackhead because of their ignorance. Their ‘ignorance’ (in ‘’ btw) was, at the time, the accepted norm and therefore, no matter how right we know him to be now, his opinions then were heretical. I would certainly classify myself as stupid if I classified him as stupid now. Or perhaps you think that I believe that the Atlantic Ocean is just a gigantic waterfall? Please, I hope we have better subjects to be opinionated about.

    Quote Originally Posted by ebaines View Post
    The only proofs that are "irrefutable" - which is what the OP asked asked for - are mathematical ones. All else - scientific laws, historical facts, etc - we have to accept based on some level of faith. It helps to have a preponderance of evidence that backs up the claim of fact, but outside of mathematics nothing is totally irrefutable.
    Thanks ebaines, seems I stirred a hornet’s nest. Your answer was sanity amidst gibberish.
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 53,915, Reputation: 10852
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    #11

    Nov 19, 2014, 12:41 PM
    The real gibberish is giving credence to the conspiracy crowd who deny all the facts over the years! The only difference is those ancient loons had power to force others into not expressing anything but their version of the truth. Power or not a deluded nut is a deluded nut!
    tickle's Avatar
    tickle Posts: 23,801, Reputation: 2674
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    #12

    Nov 19, 2014, 05:59 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianCavinder View Post
    Okay, well, no-one was saying Galileo was stupid - that's why stupid was in ''. However, my point was simple (I thought): In his time, he was considered a crackhead because of their ignorance. Their 'ignorance' (in '' btw) was, at the time, the accepted norm and therefore, no matter how right we know him to be now, his opinions then were heretical. I would certainly classify myself as stupid if I classified him as stupid now. Or perhaps you think that I believe that the Atlantic Ocean is just a gigantic waterfall? Please, I hope we have better subjects to be opinionated about.


    Thanks ebaines, seems I stirred a hornet's nest. Your answer was sanity amidst gibberish.
    We are all intelligent people here. Gibberish! I find that offensive, especially when I have another profession to do and volunteer here to answer posts that are quite similar to yours, but not quite as bad.

    Nothing to do with ebaines, it was exceptional, but you, well, think twice about your next topic.
    AdrianCavinder's Avatar
    AdrianCavinder Posts: 55, Reputation: 1
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    #13

    Nov 20, 2014, 04:20 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by tickle View Post
    We are all intelligent people here. Gibberish! I find that offensive, especially when I have another profession to do and volunteer here to answer posts that are quite similar to yours, but not quite as bad.

    Nothing to do with ebaines, it was exceptional, but you, well, think twice about your next topic.
    I apologise for any offence caused; it was an inappropriate response from me. I do appreciate all the help and guidance I get from all of you.Thank you for the clarification.
    Curlyben's Avatar
    Curlyben Posts: 18,465, Reputation: 1857
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    #14

    Nov 20, 2014, 12:42 PM
    Worth adding this here for further reading: BBC News - Is it OK to leave objects on the Moon?

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