Apollo 11: 'A stark beauty all its own'

Mar 08, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- This image of the Apollo 11 landing site captured from just 24 km (15 miles) above the surface provides LRO's best look yet at humanity’s first venture to another world. When Neil Armstrong took his famous first steps onto the lunar surface, he kicked around the soil. “Yes, the surface is fine and powdery.” Gazing at the flat horizon, he took in the view. “Isn’t that something! Magnificent sight out here.” After collecting a contingency sample Neil looked around and observed, "it has a stark beauty all its own. It's like much of the high desert of the United States. It's different, but it's very pretty out here." A few minutes later Buzz Aldrin descended the ladder and joined Neil on the surface of the Moon!

You can see the remnants of their first steps as dark regions around the Lunar Module (LM) and in dark tracks that lead to the scientific experiments the astronauts set up on the surface. The Passive Seismic Experiment Package (PSEP) provided the first lunar seismic data, returning data for three weeks after the astronauts left, and the Laser Ranging RetroReflector (LRRR) allows precise measurements to be collected to this day. You can even spot the discarded cover of the LRRR.

Another trail leads toward Little West crater around 50 meters (164 feet) to the east of the LM. This was an unplanned excursion near the end of the two and a half hours spent on the surface. Armstrong ran over to get a look inside the crater, and this was the farthest either astronaut ventured from the landing site. Compared to Apollo 12 and 14, which allowed for more time on the surface, and Apollo 15, 16, and 17, which had the benefit of a Lunar Roving Vehicle, Armstrong and Aldrin's surface activities were quite restricted. Their tracks cover less area than a typical city block!

Not only was the landscape a place of "stark beauty", but also the source of rocks that revealed the Moon’s fiery past for the first time. The samples showed that the in Mare Tranquillitatis was once the site of volcanic activity, and the flat that afforded such an incredible vista was due to broad, thin flows of lava that flooded the region.

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d_robison
Mar 08, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
julianpenrod
1.2 / 5 (23) Mar 08, 2012
It can be illustrative of many who favor PhysOrg that one would give a 5 / 5 (1) rating to a comment that is nothing more than a mocking, contemptuous slur. If conspiracy theorists supposedly deserve this kind of treatment, where is the proof then that the picture is not a photograph of a diorama? New World Order "skeptics", "debunkers" and "nay-sayers" won't provide it, because there is none. They sell lies and try to weasel around proving what they say. Part of that is narrowing their focus to only one group of people, the gullible, the vicious, the crude. As a result, NWO shill answers always are dismissive, contemptuous, vicious, mocking, vulgar.
Ferris
5 / 5 (3) Mar 08, 2012
is that willzyx on the right???
racchole
4.5 / 5 (17) Mar 08, 2012
This is not a website to debate conspiracy theories. As followers of science on a science-based website, I feel it is fair to slur the conspiracy theorists if they feel it is fair to come on these message boards and spread ideas that are, for the most part, completely fictitious. My point is: if the conspiracy theory discussions left the PO message boards, so would the slurring and contempt towards them.
SincerelyTwo
4.9 / 5 (10) Mar 08, 2012
Here is my re-enactment of a conspiracy theorists idea of logical proofs;

"Just look at it maaaan, it SEEMS fake, it SEEMS sooooo fake, so it OBVIOUSLY IS, DUH! Y ARENT U LOGICAL HUH?! JEEEEEZZZZ, U R SO DUMB. GAWD."

/bows

Our awesome little robots will go right on up to the lunar lander and stream live over the net human footprints and what not, and just at that moment, having conjured new conspiracies in advance, lunatics will denounce the imagery as PHOTOSHOPED, I CAN TELL BY THE PIXELS.

Conspiracists are correct because they are conspiracists, this is the conspiracy theorists manifesto.
PosterusNeticus
4.3 / 5 (11) Mar 08, 2012
Honestly, I've all but lost the will to discuss the content of the articles due to the absurd volume of noise in the discussion area. The problem is that the crazies are being extended the same courtesies and privileges enjoyed by everyone else.

It's OK to be wrong, or to not understand. It's OK to discuss and even challenge, so long as the challenge is based on actual scientific grounds (or your best understanding of such).

But it is NOT OK to fill the discussion space with paranoid delusional nonsense, which is often not even the least bit relevant to the actual article. Case in point, the cloud height study posted recently. That discussion space was overrun by conspiracy-nut nonsense that was inarguably irrelevant to the article.

On such a site as this I think we have the reasonable expectation of lucid discussion. Surely the moderators can see the divide between discussion and raving. Surely it should be the policy of this site to promote discourse and cull the nonsense.
PosterusNeticus
4.2 / 5 (10) Mar 08, 2012
I understand that the admins are probably reluctant to give the impression of heavy-handed moderation. And yet I can't help but feel that this is exactly the sort of site which benefits from strict moderation.

This is not CNN, where people can flood the article discussion space with garbage that is neither required nor expected to be rational and relevant. This is a site specifically about science and technology. I expect to be able to talk about this beautiful, inspiring image and revel in one of the human race's most profound accomplishments, without being implicitly referred to as a "liar" or "NWO shill".

Who is this site for? Who do you want to attract? What impression do you want people to have when they visit? If I recommend this site to others, must I include a warning to ignore the comment section because it's overflowing with crazy rants?
julianpenrod
1.3 / 5 (16) Mar 08, 2012
If, as racchole contends, conspiracy theories are "fictitious", then why don't the devotees of "science" disprove them? Why do they have to resort to verbal abuse? Isn't the "scientific method" they so espouse involve disproving untruths? Does the "scientific method" recommend name calling to "disprove" a statement? In fact, in this article, the cloud height article and so many others, it has been those who brought out conspiracy theories who have been the most reasonable and considerate. In this article alone, so far, the devotees of "science" have used terms like "crazies", "conspiracy-nut" and "rants". In the article on cloud heights, devotees of "science" adbsolutely refused to prove their counter-statements, demanding that I was the only one who had to prove mine and, so far, no one has proved that the picture is not a diorama.
Silverhill
5 / 5 (11) Mar 08, 2012
Proving the truth of the lunar (or cloud) images involves proving a negative, which essentially can't be done. It would be infeasible to find every original image, every image-processing device, and every person involved, and incontestably extract perfect truth from all of them so as to be able to say, "See? No one ever tampered with these data; they're real!"

...But I can invoke Occam's Razor, at least. The effort required to falsify every relevant datum, and to keep an army of people silent about it for many decades, beggars the imagination. It would be easier just to go to the Moon and take real pictures....
Callippo
1.5 / 5 (15) Mar 08, 2012
And here come the conspiracy theorists...
You know, we scientists do care only about independently verified evidence. So I'd like to see the photos of Apollo landing places taken with non-NASA satellites. Do we have some? http://www.univer...-surface
d_robison
4.6 / 5 (11) Mar 08, 2012
If, as racchole contends, conspiracy theories are "fictitious", then why don't the devotees of "science" disprove them?...


They have, countless times in countless ways, yet the conspiracy theorists fail to see reason and will find a niche to cling to, stick their fingers in their ears and shout "lalala."
d_robison
4.3 / 5 (11) Mar 08, 2012
And here come the conspiracy theorists...
You know, we scientists do care only about independently verified evidence. So I'd like to see the photos of Apollo landing places taken with non-NASA satellites. Do we have some? http://www.univer...-surface


So you are indicating that the Apollo landings are just theories that need to be proved? This is of course if you are dismissing all the scientific data that was brought back from the Apollo missions. Should we also assume that Cassini/Huygens never launched, and that Huygens never landed on Titan? What about the Voyager crafts? Are those images falsified as well? Where do you draw the line? Why is sending humans to the moon so much less believable than anything else we have achieved?
Vendicar_Decarian
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 08, 2012
Looks like an ash tray to me.

Beware the Illuminati.

Oh wait... I'm a member.

julianpenrod
1.3 / 5 (12) Mar 08, 2012
The devotees of "science" can't even agree with each other. Silverhill uses the, frankly, tired wheeze of "it's just too difficult to do, so I'm going to say you can't prove a negative, and that allows me to say whatever I want without having to prove it", while d robison says conspiracy theories have been disproved "countless times in countless ways". What does d robison provide, then, as the way in which it has been "disproved" that there is no incontrovertible evidence that men landed on the moon?
Incidentally, proving that men landed on the moon is proving a positive, not "proving a negative"! And it is posible to prove a negative. Proving the positive of the opposite of a statement is the same as proving the negative of the statement.
julianpenrod
1.3 / 5 (12) Mar 08, 2012
And, again, the display of unquestioning acceptance that underlies the reliance devotees of "science" place in it. d robison claims "all the scientific data that was brought back". Where is the verification that it was authentic? Where is the verification there was any at all? Where is the proof it was not made up at NASA and passed off to the "rank and file" as "genuine"? In the positive form, where is the proof that supposed data did really come from the moon? Just because they say it was real doesn't necessarily mean it really was. But, for devotees of "science" all they need is for someone calling themself a "scientist" or called a "scientist" by a big money research foundation to say something and they accept it automatically. And when "science" changes its mind a few years later and issues an entirely new statement, the devotees show absolutely no discriminatng sense.
Callippo
1 / 5 (3) Mar 08, 2012
Proving the positive of the opposite of a statement is the same as proving the negative of the statement.

Not in Bayesian logic, on which AWT is based too.
Sanescience
5 / 5 (1) Mar 09, 2012
I for one suspect the din of conspiracy theories and the people who flood the media with them provide the perfect cover for the occasional actual conspiracy that would otherwise be noticed. Would that be irony? LOL!
roboferret
5 / 5 (6) Mar 09, 2012
If the Apollo missions had been faked, the first ones to call foul would have been the Russians. They had the resources and the incentive to call foul play. They did actually track the Apollo missions down to the lunar surface, as did Jodrell Bank in the UK.
Kinedryl
1 / 5 (4) Mar 09, 2012
They did actually track the Apollo missions down to the lunar surface, as did Jodrell Bank in the UK.
Yes, it's the same situation, like with cold fusion of Andrea Rossi. Many persons witnessed it - but who actually did the exact measurements? If Mr. Rossi would want to fake it, he could still do it without problem.
d_robison
5 / 5 (4) Mar 09, 2012
The devotees of "science" can't even agree with each other... while d robison says conspiracy theories have been disproved "countless times in countless ways". What does d robison provide, then, as the way in which it has been "disproved" that there is no incontrovertible evidence that men landed on the moon?
Incidentally...


Go to any reputable scientific website that discusses the Apollo missions or to your local library, I'm not going to spend effort and time trying to provide you with all the information just so you can come back and say "but they didn't do...blah blah blah." You are clearly never going to believe that the Apollo missions landed on the moon even if you were sent to the moon to investigate it personally. You are a waste of time, you hinder scientific progress, you hinder humanity.
Vendicar_Decarian
4 / 5 (4) Mar 09, 2012
The fact is, so many American's believe that the moon landings were fake because they look around them and see a nation so left so incompetent and devoid of ability after - 30 years of Republican Treason - that they can't conceive that thing were different when Liberal thought and reason ruled the nation.
Silverhill
5 / 5 (1) Mar 10, 2012
julianpenrod:
Silverhill uses the, frankly, tired wheeze of "it's just too difficult to do, so I'm going to say you can't prove a negative, and that allows me to say whatever I want without having to prove it",
Garbage. Proving a negative is famously difficult (and sometimes impossible), because of the large number of complicating factors and actors.

You seem to be claiming that the lunar data were faked. OK, you now have the burden of proof. Go for it! (Nothing less than complete proof will be acceptable, of course.)

proving that men landed on the moon is proving a positive, not "proving a negative"!
If so, you still have to prove that the data are genuine. Can you?

Can you even prove that you, instead of an impostor, have been posting here? Just what should be accepted as real?

(I have good reason to believe that my family involvement in the space program was no sham; and that the Russian and British observers reported fairly, independently, and truthfully.)
Peteri
5 / 5 (2) Mar 10, 2012
You know, we scientists do care only about independently verified evidence.


So, you are a scientist are you - not judging by the psuedo-scientific content of your AWT web site!

What exactly ARE your scientific qualifications? Come on, don't be shy!
julianpenrod
1 / 5 (3) Mar 10, 2012
roboferret insists that if the moon flights were a fraud, the USSR would have called foul. But, everyone, absolutely everyone, who is corporately rich or politically connected or a "social leader" is in the New World Order. Even such as Ahmadinejad. That's why, when he was deliberately misquoted as saying Iran would wipe Israel off the map, his office didn't supply a correct translation until weeks later when the gullible weren't paying attention. It's all one big game. There might be some minor local facets individually pursued, but the overall direction is the same for all and approached uniformally, and the local matters are not allowed to derail the general plot.. If they had accused the U.S., the U.S. would have revealed some of their secrets. They didn't come forward and assert the claims by "Nayirah" agains Iraq were a lie, and they didn't denounce assertions that Iraq had banned weapons systems when Bush wanted to invade. The Kremlin is as compromised as Washington.
julianpenrod
1 / 5 (2) Mar 10, 2012
It's questionable why Silverhill; would call it garbage when I characterized an essence of "you can't prove a negative" being that it's difficult to do, then Silverhill themself admitting it's difficult. As for "scientists" using it to weasel out of things, when challenged to yphold claims like "There is not God", they simply say, "You can't prove a negative" and do nothing further. If you can't prove a negative, then it hasn't been proved, which means it's "scientifically" unethical to say! Where are the "scientists" denouncing those who say, "There is no God", then refusing to prove it?
And I didn't say the evidence was faked. I said there is no proof that it's real. And there isn't or the "scientists" would be providing it.
And when I said that proving men landed on the moon was proving a positive, I was countering Silverhill's incorrect statement that proving the moon images were true was proving a negative.
julianpenrod
1 / 5 (2) Mar 10, 2012
Notice that, rather than admit they made a mistake, Silverhill uses the statement as the basis for a challenge to me as if I was in the wrong. Perhaps Silverhill cannot understand that saying proving photogaphs are real is proving a positive. Note, though, that Silverhill is challenging me to prove the photographs from the moon are real when, in fact, I made it clear I was saying there is no such proof.
andyd
1 / 5 (1) Mar 10, 2012
And here come the conspiracy theorists...
You know, we scientists do care only about independently verified evidence. So I'd like to see the photos of Apollo landing places taken with non-NASA satellites. Do we have some? http://www.univer...returns-

detailed-maps-of-the-lunar-surface


Clearly some posters here have comprehension problems. Nice one, I voted you 5.
la7dfa
not rated yet Mar 11, 2012
Surprising to see how small footprint they left. Travelling 800000km and staying within 50 meters of the LM :)
SmaryJerry
not rated yet Mar 12, 2012
This consipiracy theory has been debunked over and over and can be independently debunked mearly by using a high powered telescope or a laser to reflect on the mirrors they place on the moon. The whole reason people call it faked is because they say they had a big incentive to fake it.. that is so stupid.. incentives mean they were just driven to do it even more.. not to fake it.. i mean seriously the fact people still think it didn't happen show how gullible people are.
Silverhill
not rated yet Mar 12, 2012
Perhaps Silverhill cannot understand that saying proving photogaphs are real is proving a positive.
Of course that would be proving a positive; I did not think otherwise. The challenge remains, though: how can you (generic "you") claim to have proved this, when the conspiracy nuts will simply say that any evidence was merely Photoshopped?
Again, I ask: what can be counted as real and true, nowadays?

I would offer what SmaryJerry did: independently demonstrable reflections of laser light from the retroreflector left at the Apollo 11 site. (But then I can hear the conspiracy nuts say, "That only proves that SOMEONE was on the Moon. Maybe it was aliens instead!")