13.2.08

The Sun, The Moon, and The Conspiracy Theory

Okay, so I'm filming a communications class today--comm classes are real fun because I get to hear about so many different things, so many different opinions, and the like (we film the student presentations for those who don't know, and post them online so they can evaluate themselves)--and a certain person's topic is the conspiracy theory about going to the moon. Ugh. How many times have I heard that one. He/she was kinda nervous, you could tell, and was settling for getting us to open up to the idea that just maybe it really was all a conspiracy. Okay; shoot. Why could it be a conspiracy?
Well, she presented a few different persuasive arguments. The first was the shadow theory; yeah, the one that has been around since the first landing.She claims it is illogical, if the sun is the only light source (which it wasn't), the the shadows point in different directions. Well, this argument has been fought time and time again, mostly with the logic that the comparison (of the shadows) is between well-defined shadows in the foreground and very oblique shadows in the background. Shadows lie on parallel lines pointing away from the sun. Because of perspective, they will appear to radiate away from the point on the horizon directly under the sun.
The next argument she had was that there are stars "missing" in some of the photos. The argument is logical--there's no air and no light (except they've already claimed the sun is shining directly on the astronauts) so why shouldn't there be stars? I have actually read that there are many so-called professional photographers that agree with this. Good thing they aren't in film? I would encourage all to take their cameras, set them to 1/125 and f/8 (we're going to recreate old technology here), and film the night sky. Now, if you're using video, perhaps put on the nd 1/64 filter to simulate what light film would need. My guesses are you won't see many stars. Now, you've got a huge key light called the sun shining right on you on the moon. Simulate this by going and standing under a street lamp and try to capture a starry night. Good luck.
She goes on to talk about the fact that there are footprints on the moon, when "due to the minerals in the earth there, er, moon" there shouldn't be. Er...what? Once dust, regardless of the fact that there is no suspension due to air viscosity, gets packed down; it's pretty cohesive and will keep that form. I don't really know what she's going for her, but I don't know of any minerals that have memory like that.
She also mentioned the idea that our technology was not capable of sending a man to the moon. Well...to that I point her to other conspiracy theorists and the Philadelphia Project (go google it). Also...nobody said our technology was perfect; we had plenty of problems getting to the moon, we know that. I suppose the question is...what technology was needed? We had jet propulsion technology figured out pretty well during WWII and nobody knew that. I have to give our scientific fathers a lot more credit--even if the field is apparently stagnating quickly.
She doesn't even touch the other more popular disputes: the flag waving, the engine noise, the dust on the lunar module, etc; her next argument is that the US desperately needed a win in the space race with the USSR. This I can agree with. She argues that the cost--if it were a hoax, was not worth it. I can see her point; although even if it were a hoax--what did it win for our country against the Soviets? I suppose every person must answer that question for him or herself. I can't remember the astronaut (interviewed for "In the Shadow of the Moon") but I tend to agree with him: thousands upon thousands of people were involved with the moon programs, and yet not one of them have disputed the real facts--that we did go to the moon. That's a pretty tough secret to keep.

2 comments:

  1. Are you making fun of Comm students :-) ha ha

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