NASA’s Apollo 11 astronauts successfully landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969. The mission saw US astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin safely fly to the Moon and back. And despite an estimated 600 million people watching the lunar landing live on television, NASA critics believe the Moon landing was staged. Conspiracy theorists often cite the eerie lighting and shadows on the Moon as evidence of their outlandish claims.
As the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing rapidly approaches, conspiracists are still challenging NASA’s incredible accomplishment.
To fight back against NASA hoax theories, National Space Centre Discovery Director Professor Anu Ojha appeared at the Royal Observatory Greenwich in London.
The space expert addressed a number of popular conspiracy theories disseminated online in an “ocean of information”.
Professor Ojha said: “There has been more data produced in the last two years than in the whole of human history.
“This information ocean is getting more turbulent every single day.
“The only tools we have to navigate through this maelstrom are the critical thinking skills that we are trying to develop in people as scientists.”
So, why are conspiracy theorists adamant shadows on the Moon prove the lunar landing was staged?
When you look at the lunar photographs taken by Commander Armstrong himself, you will notice the shadows are not parallel.
Conspiracists believe the shadows would have to run perfectly alongside each other if the only source of light present was the Sun.
Conspiracy theorists believe this can be explained by the presence of strong stage lights – evidence NASA staged the Moon landing.
Except, Professor Ojha argued the claim does not hold up under scientific scrutiny.
He said: “This is on the surface of the Moon, but we can reproduce this effect any time we want to on Earth.
“You have all seen this phenomenon yourself, where, because of perspective, parallel lines appear to be non-parallel.
“You are trying to reduce on to a two-dimensional plane a three-dimensional situation, you can make lines do all sorts of weird things. Artists have been using this for centuries.”
You can try this out for yourself by heading outside when the Sun is low in the skies – the produced shadows will not run parallel to one another.
The same hoax theory was debunked by film expert Howard Berry, which you can read about here.