Why Aren't The Apollo 11 Photographs Blurry?

Good whatever time you’re reading this.


As you might know, we are regularly prodded by our followers for interesting insights into the deeper questions of the deep unknown…


Who are we? Why are we here? What’s up with Uranus?

And today is no different. A follower in our illustrious space society has asked of ARSE and they shall receive the hottest serving of knowledge we can eject.


So without any more literary magic, let us Ask ARSE.

“How were Apollo 11 astronauts with no photography experience capable of taking pictures on the moon professionally with ’60s photographic equipment? Some people argue that the quality of those pictures should’ve been amateurish and blurry.” - John, soon to be booted from our official Space Society (kidding)



Oh wait hold on, hold on, hold on…

We have a better way to answer this one.


Meet Richard Holl.
Former engineer at NASA during some of the golden age missions that shaped out understanding of space travel.


If we asked Rich, which we did, he’d probably say…


“As someone who played a significant role in images taken on the moon I can answer this. First anyone who read the above question should recognize it as a feeble attempt to prove the moon landing was a hoax in lieu of a technological question.


60’s photographic equipment used in the space program was highly advanced. It was the best that could be designed for analog imaging. We were in the process of developing digital imaging simply because new solid state technology was being developed on a daily basis.


Today basically everyone is running around with a highly sophisticated digital imaging device in their cell phone constantly taking photographic images and I have no doubt most of them would be highly insulted if you called their work amateurish.


Professional photography is more well known by it's artistic content than it's technological ability. Of course any professional photographer is going to have the best equipment and know how to use it.


Some of the astronauts were artists and all of them were trained on how to use their photographic equipment. We did have problems with teaching them how to use video imaging equipment. Some of that was due to the fact we had never had people walking around on the moon with video imaging devices and we learned as we went. Photographic equipment is forgiving and all you do is lose the shot if you screw up.


Keep in mind, they had no viewfinder for the camera mounted on their chest and a bulky spacesuit removes any fine tuning. The equipment was the best available and further engineered for the environment. The astronauts went through extensive training to determine lighting, angles and field of view. They wore the cameras daily snapping photos of everything using their bodies to point and shoot and their brain to determine lighting and field of view.


Try mounting a camera to your chest and see how you do. Remember to research the lenses used and formats if you do.”

 


Lunar moon astronaut during mission Apollo 11.

 

Usually with a question like this, the asker starts with what is known as a ‘false premise,’ a logical fallacy that undermines the validity of the question right out the gate. 


The first thing people commonly say about moon landings is how impenetrable the Van Allen radiation belts are, demonstrating ignorance of both the composition and trajectory of the belts.


Probably the worst aspect of it all is that humanity has wasted so much time and energy on warfare and consumerism in the last 50 years that we cannot accomplish what they did in the 1960s even with modern technology. We would rather believe they weren't done than admit our guilt for destroying the earth for the sake of life rather than taking it to the stars.


As for the “amateurish” slight against the astronauts' photography skills, again, we must stress that few folks really understand how remarkable the tiny minority who could qualify as astronauts. And much less be hand-picked from that elite group for a moonshot, are and were. They have just never met someone that impressive, it’s outside of their experience.


According to conspiracy theorists, if the photos are grainy, have poor focus, and show no real detail, that is "proof" that the landings were faked since NASA knew high-quality photos would reveal the fraud. However, if the images are excellent, then that's proof that the photos were fabricated by NASA using highly skilled photo experts.


There really is no winning. But we strive to try. 


Thanks for reading!
Please share with an astro friend to spread ARSE and thrust Australia into the deep unknown…

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