Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Moon NASA Science

Images Show Apollo Moon Flags Still Standing 206

Posted by samzenpus
from the planted-to-last dept.
TheNextCorner writes "Images taken by a NASA spacecraft show that the American flags planted in the Moon's soil by Apollo astronauts are mostly still standing. Each of the Apollo missions planted an American flag in the soil at their landing sites. Scientists had previously examined photos of the Apollo landing sites for the flags, and had seen what looked like shadows cast by them on the lunar surface. Now, researchers have studied photos of the landing sites taken at different points during the day (and under different illuminations) and have observed shadows circling the points where the flags are thought to be."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Images Show Apollo Moon Flags Still Standing

Comments Filter:
  • Amazing! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 30, 2012 @04:36PM (#40821943)

    You'd think that the flags would've been knocked over by all that lunar wind by now.

  • by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki@gmail . c om> on Monday July 30, 2012 @04:37PM (#40821963) Homepage

    The conspiracy theory nuts keep telling us that the moon landings were fake!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by gstrickler (920733)

      They'll just say these photos are fake. They have to keep up the illusion.

      • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Monday July 30, 2012 @05:26PM (#40822499)

        The government was behind the moon landings!

        No, seriously, the landings were faked, but they were filmed on the moon. We've had a base up there since 1958. "We can't film the dark side... for some reason."

        It's a contrail factory.

        • by crutchy (1949900)
          the moon base is where they send convicts now because australia is apparently already overpopulated with americans, and LV426 is a no go because people keep getting killed by some mysterious monsters (i don't beleive them because there aren't any real monsters... except the borg that have infiltrated congress)

          the moon base is run by jfk and elvis

          oh, and the dark side cant be filmed because of the civilization of rock spiders there and because the monolith orbiting jupiter told us not to mess with them
          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            PS. if seven of nine ever runs for my electorate, i'll sure as hell be voting for her... WOOF!

            Her ex-husband, Jack Ryan, was running for US Senate in Illinois, but dropped out of the race because of hanky-panky. The wikipedia article about it is pretty interesting.

            Jack Ryan (born October 6, 1959) is a Republican from the state of Illinois who was forced to withdraw from the 2004 United States Senate race due to an alleged sex scandal involving his relationship with his ex-wife, actress Jeri Ryan.[1][2] His

        • by camperslo (704715)

          No, seriously, the landings were faked, but they were filmed on the moon. We've had a base up there since 1958.

          Research has been uncovered that dates back to 1953

          http://archive.org/details/Cat_Women_of_the_Moon [archive.org]

        • by 1u3hr (530656)
          The Nazis have been there since 1945. [ironsky.net]
    • Well, duh. The photographic equipment used for these pictures was obviously damaged by the same van Allen radiation belts that killed any astronaut dumb enough to leave low Earth orbit!
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Because the radiation levels are not as high or as lethal as many would have you believe.

        The van Allen belts, to begin with, are regions of highly energetic particle radiation. Particle radiation can be shielded by quite thin sheets of light metals such as aluminium and plastics. Guess what the Apollo spacecraft was made from.... In addition, the belts are ust that: belts. Space trave is a 3-dimensional problem, and it is quite simple to arrange the flight path from Earth to the Moon such that it passes ove

        • Re:But...but... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Ruie (30480) on Monday July 30, 2012 @05:59PM (#40822843) Homepage
          You are oversimplifying things. Yes, slow moving charged particles (such as electrons or Helium nuclei) can be easily shielded. However, fast moving particles are much harder to shield against as they create showers of new particles (of lower energy) upon collision.

          The spectrum of these particles extends way up - scientists are busily observing particles with energies on EeV scale (roughly what a moving golfball has), though these are quite rare.

          Neutral particles, like gamma rays, can only be shielded by a bulk material - the penetration depth depends on density.

          Lastly, we have we have direct visual observation [wikipedia.org] of cosmic rays by astronauts on Apollo missions and ISS.

          In summary - being in space is kinda like being on a battlefield - if your general did not screw up the chance of being hit by an artillery shell is quite small. But this does not mean it cannot happen.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Sketchly (1354369)
        Why did they wear radiation belts?
    • Re:But...but... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday July 30, 2012 @04:46PM (#40822083) Journal

      That's because they're blithering retards. My advice is to tell them to fuck off, and if they still insist on blathering on, go Buzz Aldrin on them.

    • by Moses48 (1849872) on Monday July 30, 2012 @04:47PM (#40822095)

      oblig http://xkcd.com/1074/ [xkcd.com]

    • by MDMurphy (208495)

      I figured they'll jump on the statement that all of the flags are still standing *except* Apollo 11's. They can then claim that one was faked to get in under the wire to hit the moon in the 60s on the first attempt while the subsequent ones were real.

    • by houghi (78078)

      The studio they filmed it is at area 51 and was closed till now.
      or:
      Looking at the pixels, it is clearly photoshoped.

    • Somehow it got mixed up with NASA paperwork when he was eight years old and living in Indonesia.
    • by Coisiche (2000870) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @05:37AM (#40826465)

      And these photos just provide more ammunition to them if they spin it correctly.

      Take the Apollo 16 site image. The lunar rover is parked some 100 metres from the LEM but everyone knows that an American would never park their vehicle that far from their destination.

      ...

      (Yeah, I know Young parked it there so the on-board camera could be used to capture the capsule ascent.)

  • Fake (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 30, 2012 @04:38PM (#40821973)
    Photoshop is an incredible program.
    • Not sure about the moon photos, but I think this might be photoshopped:

      http://dailypicksandflicks.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/i-think-this-might-be-photoshopped-shark-t-rex-uzi.jpg [dailypicksandflicks.com]

    • You jest, but you bring up a valid point. Back when I was younger and film cameras ruled the roost, pictures meant absolute proof. Or real close anyways. Now, every modern picture taken is questionable. Because Photoshop is just that good.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 30, 2012 @04:42PM (#40822031)

    ...but it would be even MORE interesting if they WEREN'T there anymore.

    We might even have a reason to go back and checkout what/who was moving our flags around :)

    • by goodmanj (234846) on Monday July 30, 2012 @05:05PM (#40822317)

      Why wouldn't they be standing? Because of the exhaust from the lunar module ascent stage's rocket engine. The LM blew all kinds of crap around when it took off, and kicked up dust on the surface. Here's a video of the Apollo 17 lunar liftoff, taken from the lunar rover's remote controlled camera.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iziumcklDbM [youtube.com]

      • by hairyfeet (841228) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Monday July 30, 2012 @06:37PM (#40823253) Journal
        A better video if you want to show what kind of mess that rocket kicks up is Apollo 15 [youtube.com] because while 17 stayed focused on the ascent with 15 they stayed focused on the lander and you get to see what a mess is left after they fired that engine up, with debris splattered all over the place.
      • by yurtinus (1590157)
        Thanks for that link - besides being a pretty cool visual, the commentary on it is *amazing*!!

        Youtube never disappoints.
      • Most of the junk you see is mostly from the pyrotechnics holding the Ascent Module to the Lander. Watch the video. There is actually surprisingly little dust kicked up. This makes sense when you think about it. The force of the ascent motor was directed downwards onto the Lander platform. That platform is well above the height of the flag. As the exhaust plume spreads out, it will spread out in a straight line. It will not be diverted because the moon essentially has no atmosphere. It would be like
        • by Dunbal (464142) *

          it will spread out in a straight line

          No, it will spread out in a cone. Movement from high pressure to low pressure happens in space, too.

        • by goodmanj (234846)

          Check out an earlier post in this thread for the Apollo 15 video, which stays focused on the landing area. You see a lot more dust kicked up, and little pieces of the LM descent stage being blown off well after the ascent stage has departed, and dust stuck onto the camera lens afterward.

          You're right that gas expansion into a vacuum is a tricky thing, but while the forward front of exhaust gas will move in a straight line, that gas will be moving outward at the speed of exhaust gas molecules (hundreds or th

      • by multi io (640409) <olaf.klischat@googlemail.com> on Monday July 30, 2012 @08:58PM (#40824419)
        This [youtube.com] is the Apollo 14 lift-off from the LEM's onboard camera, which shows the flag at the moment of ignition and the two or three seconds after that. Although the flag holds up, it's pretty obvious how it could have been blown over during the Apollo 11 launch.
        • by goodmanj (234846)

          Thank you! That's the video I was looking for for my earlier post, but couldn't find.

    • by Art Challenor (2621733) on Monday July 30, 2012 @05:20PM (#40822457)
      Technically, there's nothing that shows they are the SAME flags, just SOME flags.
    • Soon there'll be one hanging as a "prize" in the Chairman's room in Beijing, China.
  • Moon or someone sneezed over a cappuccino.

  • by Spy Handler (822350) on Monday July 30, 2012 @04:44PM (#40822059) Homepage Journal
    we wouldn't have to forensically analyze long-distance data to figure out if the flags are standing or not. We'd just be looking out the damn window and see.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Tablizer (95088)

      Palin can see it from her house

    • by multi io (640409)

      If we had any balls, we wouldn't have to forensically analyze long-distance data to figure out if the flags are standing or not. We'd just be looking out the damn window and see.

      Area 51 is still closed to the public though :P

  • Whew! (Score:5, Funny)

    by partiklehead (2425806) on Monday July 30, 2012 @04:47PM (#40822099) Journal
    What a relief!
    Imagine having to go all the way back there and fix it.
  • by Chas (5144) on Monday July 30, 2012 @04:51PM (#40822149) Homepage Journal

    Dear Mr. Sibrel,

    Hope that jaw doesn't ache too much from the jacking that Mr. Aldrin gave it.
    Oh yeah, here's more proof from one of our lunar orbiters that there are, indeed, flags on the moon where the landings occurred and that all but one are still standing.

    Hoax theory disproved bitch!

    NASA

    • by jd2112 (1535857)

      Dear Mr. Sibrel,

      Hope that jaw doesn't ache too much from the jacking that Mr. Aldrin gave it. Oh yeah, here's more proof from one of our lunar orbiters that there are, indeed, flags on the moon where the landings occurred and that all but one are still standing.

      Hoax theory disproved bitch!

      NASA

      No, they will just change the conspiracy theory based on this new "evidence", like perhaps NASA had the Russians put that stuff on the moon back in the '80s or something. If you took the conspiracy nuts to the moon and showed them the lunar lander site they would say that they were drugged and hallucinated the whole thing rather than admit that they were wrong.

      • As I've said before, I do believe that we landed on the Moon. But I enjoy playing a little devil's advocate. So, with that said...

        The images are obviously real. And they show that something on the Moon changes according to the day. The assumption is that it is the flag. But it could be any oddly shaped thing.

        So were I a conspiracy theorist, I'd point out that we never said that there weren't missions to the Moon. But were there any people on board? NASA proved that they could land on the Moon with th

        • by jd2112 (1535857)

          As I've said before, I do believe that we landed on the Moon. But I enjoy playing a little devil's advocate. So, with that said...

          The images are obviously real. And they show that something on the Moon changes according to the day. The assumption is that it is the flag. But it could be any oddly shaped thing.

          So were I a conspiracy theorist, I'd point out that we never said that there weren't missions to the Moon. But were there any people on board? NASA proved that they could land on the Moon with the Surveyor missions. So these could easily be Apollo landers that were sent to the Moon in order to echo back radio messages to convince people that they were originating on the Moon. They could drop a flag and such off before landing.

          Heck, I should be on "Dancing with the Stars!"

          As an aside, I've never really heard from the conspiracy theorists on this one: Were Apollo 8 and Apollo 10 faked? Apollo 8 was the mission that flew around the Moon. Apollo 10 was the one that went to the Moon with a LEM but didn't actually land. The whole "leaving the Van Allen belts would kill the astronauts" theory would seem to imply that those missions must have been faked.

          Let's switch to new-school conspiracy theory: It's Obama's fault that they had to fake the moon landings. I'm not sure how but everything is Obama's fault right? After all he's the one that killed off all the dinosaurs, caused the great flood, started the civil war, Talked Napoleon into invading Europe, Made Hitler anti-Semitic, Shot JFK and RFK, and started Global Warming.

          Wait, that's almost as credible as some of the moon landing conspiracy theories.

          (I'm not a big fan of Obama by the way, I just thin

        • by Macrat (638047)

          As an aside, I've never really heard from the conspiracy theorists on this one: Were Apollo 8 and Apollo 10 faked? Apollo 8 was the mission that flew around the Moon.

          After the crew of Apollo 1 died a horrible death, all of the later Apollo missions were unmanned.

          Those capsules weren't ready to support humans until just before the Skylab missions.

      • That is why you don't let them wear a space helmet. So they can see it with their own eyes.
  • by Airballp (1077091) on Monday July 30, 2012 @04:59PM (#40822243)
    Top ranking NASA officials also used the phrase "mostly still standing" to describe the state of the U.S. space program.
  • From the article: "The most convincing way to see that the flags are still there, is to view a time series of LROC images taken at different times of day, and watch the shadow circle the flag."

    Well, those would have been nice to see.
    • by 3dr (169908)

      Agreed. Multiple sample images would be great to see.

      I'm afraid their phrase, "images taken at different times of day" is very imprecise. It's not like you can take images hour-to-hour of features on the moon and see significant changes. Since the moon rotates at 29.x days/rotation, obvious shadow changes (to our eyes) would only be observed by taking images Earth *days* apart. I'm surprised the BBC wrote this.

  • by Animats (122034) on Monday July 30, 2012 @05:20PM (#40822459) Homepage

    About 15 years from now, the ambassador of the People's Republic of China will solemnly return that flag to the President of the United States. Some of the original Apollo astronauts will still be alive to attend. The flag will be placed in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, for future generations of Americans to admire.

    • That would be AWESOME. They'd have to include massive documentation to make the claim stick, but it could be done. Question is, does China have the big brass balls to do it. They just might, judging by their interest in the Olympics. It would indeed take at least 15 years. China's space program is nothing if not conservative.

      Sadly, they won't do it. They know it would change the world. It might even make us look up from our smartphones. They're not actually all that anxious for that to happen.

    • What do you think the flag and footprint would sell for at auction? Almost worth another lunar visit...

  • by drkim (1559875) on Monday July 30, 2012 @05:43PM (#40822649)

    I don't know what the big deal is...

    You can see all the flags clearly by going to "Google Moon" and then go to street view.

    Of course, they've blurred the license plates on all the LRVs.

    • In the original Google Moon you could zoom all the way in to Swiss Cheese.
    • They might be having a "Google Mars" soon. I would be half-surprised if the contracted with NASA to get a feed from Curiosity after it lands in a week. Of course you can't enter addresses in the "street view" but it still would be extremely cool.
  • I know the lunar landing and the flag come up a bunch in conversation and even sometimes on slashdot. Let me tell you, the state of the flag is taken very seriously here at Buena Vista studios in Burbank. What you may not know is that we've had a few touch-and-go situations that, had there been an actual lunar landing, would have been very similar to the storyline!

    1977: doug, old key grip for leave it to beaver, accidentally left flag on the set of a hawaii 5-0 episode.
    1981: flagpole repurposed for epi
  • by Nethead (1563) <joe@nethead.com> on Monday July 30, 2012 @06:58PM (#40823483) Homepage Journal

    flags planted in the Moon's soil ..

    The lunar surface has no soil. It's all regolith [wikipedia.org].

    Minus one geek point for Samzenpus.

  • NASA is so proud they had "and the flag was still there" added to the National Anthem.

  • John and Charlie exit the LM on their first EVA. Charlie sees the big crater right behind the LM, literally one foot away. Charlie says hey did you know about that big hole back here John says what h... oh yeah I was watching that during the landing.

  • You can clearly see by its shadow that it's moving in the wind. ...

  • Then they've decided to condemn the Capitalist Zionist illegal occupation of the Moon and therefore condemn Israel and Jews in general.

"Regardless of the legal speed limit, your Buick must be operated at speeds faster than 85 MPH (140kph)." -- 1987 Buick Grand National owners manual.

Working...