>> Thursday, May 28, 2009
Bob asked: They mentioned that the Keck I and II scopes in Hawaii where so powerful that they could see a flickering light on the Moon.... do you see where I am going with this? If true, why can't we see the Apollo landing sites and photograph the remains of the LM and Lunar Rovers and put to rest all the Moon landing hoaxes going around since forever? I have heard similar comparisons about being able to see tiny stuff on the Moon with our most powerful telescopes but can never seem to research if it is really true, NASA seems not to want to talk on this point. I understand about telescope resolution and the such, but there seems to be quite a bit of confusion on what we can or can't see on the Moon. Was it a case of bad research on the part of NGC about the flickering candle or am I missing something here?
Good question and the answer (I have) is convoluted. First, let me remind you I'm not an astronomer. OK, first you spoke of seeing a "flickering light" on the moon. Well, I'm not sure what that means. Clearly, there's no open flame on the moon, but there are mirrors left from past missions, including the Apollo landings that have been used for ranging to the moon (Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment). Can't see a mirror (or use it to bounce a laser unless, hey, it exists.
But a "flickering light" doesn't give me a resolution. It is not impossible that we could get sufficient resolution to see some of the stuff we left behind, but we're not talking about something like the Great Wall of China (which can be observed from on orbit with, I think, the naked eye, but other man-made structures require telescopes). Relatively speaking, the landing sites are flyspecks on the face of the moon. Now, that doesn't mean the Keck and Keck II can't see them; it means I don't know if they can or not. And I haven't found any resolution specifics doing searching.
But as for proving things once and for all, why would it? If you're crazy enough to think the mirrors spontaneously appeared on the moon's surface, why would a picture convince you? The pictures would likely come from NASA and we already believe NASA's a liar. Doctoring a picture would be child's play.
There is, in fact, tons of objective evidence that proves we were there: tracking by different facilities all over the world, including the Soviet Union, transcripts of missions, equipment exposed to lunar conditions (as opposed to on orbit conditions), lunar dust and rocks samples older than ANY rocks we have on earth (by 700 million years). If someone doesn't believe that (and I know you're not foolish enough to be one of them), a photo ain't gonna convince you.
There are plenty of debunkers of the nonsense out there - I won't repeat what's been said a dozen clever ways, like this one and this one and this one.