The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

Posts Tagged ‘Bad Astronomy’

“New” NASA Video of Moon Landing Not So New

Posted by mattusmaximus on July 16, 2009

As I outlined in my earlier post – Old Moon Landing Tapes Found – Conspiracy Nuts Still Lost – there were rumors going around about “lost” footage of the first Apollo Moon landing being found by NASA.  Well, yes and no.  As this news article points out, the footage is old but it was never lost…

600px-Aldrin_Apollo_11

NASA refurbishes video copies of moon landing

With the help of Hollywood, those historic, grainy images of the first men on the moon never looked better. NASA unveiled refurbished video Thursday of the July 20, 1969, moonwalk restored by the same company that sharpened up the movie “Casablanca.”

NASA lost its original moon landing videotapes and after a three-year search, officials have concluded they were probably erased. That original live video was ghostlike and grainy.

NASA and a Hollywood film restoration company took television video copies of what Apollo 11 beamed to Earth 40 years ago and made the pictures look sharper.

NASA emphasized the video isn’t “new” — just better quality.

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Posted in conspiracy theories, space | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Old Moon Landing Tapes Found – Conspiracy Nuts Still Lost

Posted by mattusmaximus on June 28, 2009

**Update: There is some question as to the validity of the story that new tapes of the Apollo 11 landing have been discovered and that the news story itself might be a hoax.  Read more about it at this entry on the Bad Astronomy blog. Note that my criticisms of the anti-moon landing conspiracy theorists still stand.

I just read this really cool story — World Exclusive: NASA Finds Missing Moon Landing Tapes. As the article states…

ECSTATIC space officials at Nasa could be about to unveil one of their most stunning discoveries for 40 years — new and amazingly clear footage of the first moon landing.

The release of the new images next month could be one of the most talked about events of the summer.

The television images the world has been used to seeing of the historic moment when Neil Armstrong descended down a ladder onto the moon’s surface in 1969 is grainy, blurry and dark.

The following scenes, in which the astronauts move around the lunar lander, are so murky it is difficult to make out exactly what is going on, causing conspiracy theorists to claim the entire Apollo 11 mission was an elaborate fraud.

Here is the current footage we have of the Apollo 11 landing to which the article is referring available on Youtube…

600px-Aldrin_Apollo_11

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Posted in conspiracy theories, space | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Happy Solstice!

Posted by mattusmaximus on June 21, 2009

Happy Solstice everyone!  It might seem a strange thing to be celebrating, this specific position of Earth in its orbit around the sun, but we skeptics have our reasons.  This, of course, has to do with the old myth of being able to balance eggs on their ends only during either the vernal (spring) or autumnal equinox – of course, all references are in regards to the northern hemisphere.

But wait, it’s not the equinox, so why bring up this myth now?  To debunk it, of course.  According to adherents of this myth, usually the same folks who are into astrology-related woo, during the equinoxes “things line up cosmically” (probably some misunderstood reference to the fact that the length of day & night are the same), and this should result in the capability to stand eggs on their ends.

The funny thing about this particular myth is that it contains a kernel of truth… you can stand an egg on its end on the equinox, just as you can at any time of the year – even the solstices, as far away from the equinox as you can get.  Case in point, I just balanced three eggs on end in my kitchen…

Solstice Eggs

This supposedly “cosmic event” took me all of five minutes to accomplish – with a little practice, it’s easy to do. To understand why it is that eggs can be balanced in this manner, it is more helpful to look to the science of physics rather than the pseudoscience of astrology – this link at the Bad Astronomy blog explains in more detail.

So, the next time you hear someone make this loony claim, have a little fun with it – whip out the eggs and balance away!

Posted in astrology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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