Congratulations on fifteenth anniversary of Naked Scientists!
I have an unanswered question lingering for a long time!
We all have heard of controversies and conspiracies around the moon landing back in 1969. There are so many theories which suggest it never happened because of the scientific factors around the angle of the pictures shared, position of sun, unexplained shadow and so on.
I have been asking this question myself for a long time. We know that when the crew landed on the Moon they left behind few things like landing gear. Unless they are totally covered by the sand and dust storms, we should be able see them again. With the availability of all those high powered cameras and satellites flying around the earth, and even Hubble telescope in our orbit, why can't we take a picture of those debris and close the controversy for good?!
Hope you can answer this in your next episode.
Kat put this question to David Rothery:
Kat - This is a big one. You know, people say, ďDid it really happen? What can we see?Ē
David - Well of course, it happened. You can't see it from the Earth. There are some very nice pictures you can find on the internet if you go to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter website. But thatís NASA so they're obviously part of the conspiracy.
Kat - Clearly.
David - But seriously, from lunar orbit, you can see footprints and vehicle tracks, and the spacecraft landing sections on the surface. The Chinese claim to have seen some of the Apollo landing materials on the surface, and the Indians with their Chandrayaan 1 Orbiter saw the disturbed soil but didnít have sufficient spatial resolution to actually see the hardware. But nobody said it didnít actually happened. The Soviets at that time werenít saying the Americans are cheating. Everybody in the business agrees the lunar landings happened but you can't see it from the surface of the Earth. The moon is a quarter of a million miles away. Itís too far away. You can see the space station orbiting past but that's thousands of times closer.
Kat - And is like shiny.
David - Shiny and big.
Although earth based telescopes cannot provide enough resolution to detect moon landing artefacts those mounted on lunar orbiting satellites certainly can and numerous pictures of landing vehicles, rover tracks etc have been published. syhprum, Thu, 7th Jul 2016