Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on TwitterIt has been more than 40 years since Neil Armstrong made that first step on the Moon. Yet, there are a few people who still ask, “Did we really land on the moon?”
There are those who spread conspiracy theories alleging that those Moon landings were all fake.
Some conspiracy theorists even go as far as harassing astronauts. On September 9, 2002, filmmaker Bart Sibrel, who is also a staunch supporter of the Apollo Moon landing conspiracy theory approached Buzz Aldrin and called him a liar, coward, and a thief.
Advocates of this lunar conspiracy theory claim that the so-called evidences can be easily duplicated hear on Earth. While images and videos of the landings may certainly be recreated using common photo-editing and video-editing software, one evidence that’s going to be very difficult to duplicate is the extensive collection of moon rocks brought back by the Apollo missions
For one, the moon rocks are heavily cratered. The presence of these craters is consistent with what you would expect from the Moon’s environment. Since the Moon has no atmosphere, nothing can impede (and even vaporize) majority of the incoming meteoroids that eventually impact the Moon’s surface.
Our Earth, of course, has an atmosphere. In fact, you’ve been hearing a lot about this atmosphere with all the global warming and ozone depletion information going around.
Furthermore, craters on the Moon and on its rocks are well-preserved because of the absence of water. Water causes erosion, and is the reason why geological features here on Earth change in due time.
In 2008, the Japanese lunar orbiter SELENE or SELenological and ENgineering Explorer (also known as Kaguya) was able to capture images of Apollo 15′s landing site. Seen in that image was the halo-like formation left by the Apollo spacecraft’s exhaust when they took off from the Moon.
Back in 1971, when the Apollo 15 crew looked back at their landing site as their spacecraft launched back into space, they were able to observe the halo. Kaguya’s images is evidence that the landing in fact took place.
Also in 2008, the popular TV program Mythbusters, featured the Moon landings and the conspiracy theories that surrounded it. In that show, Adam and Jamie, the shows hosts, provided easy-to-understand explanations as to why the landings were genuine.
Of course, at the end of the day, believing still lies in the minds and not in the eyes of the observer. If you choose not to believe, regardless of all the evidence presented before you, then it would be impossible to prove anything to you.
So what do you think – Did we really land on the Moon?
If you want to read more about the device that extracts oxygen from Moon rocks, we’ve got exactly what you need here in Universe Today. Just click on that link. We also have an article featuring secrets that may be revealed from moon rocks even 40 years since the Apollo missions brought them to Earth.
Here’s an article from NASA that debunks the hoax theory using the Moon rock arguments. Another article about Moon rocks from the same site.
Episodes about the moon from Astronomy Cast. Lend us your ears!
Shooting Lasers at the Moon and Losing Contact with Rovers
The Moon Part I
NASA: The Great Moon Hoax