Author Topic: The "the earth should be bigger" argument  (Read 437 times)

Offline Willoughby

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The "the earth should be bigger" argument
« on: August 01, 2017, 02:48:08 PM »
I've come across this argument a lot lately, and I know it's been discussed on this forum, but no topics have been dedicated to it. 

First off, you can Google Image "moon" and find an uncountable number of photographs of the moon taken from the Earth - in an equally uncountable variety of sizes.  Obviously (yet not so obvious to those making this argument apparently), the moon comes in a thousand different sizes not because people are closer or farther from the moon, but because they are more zoomed in with their lens than others are or using larger format film (or sensor).  Pull out your smart phone and take a picture of the moon without zooming in at all, and it will be not much larger than a dot on the screen.  Take a picture with the camera mounted to a 1200mm telescope, and it's a different story.  In both photographs, you were about 240,000 miles away from the moon - yet those making this argument seem to be completely oblivious to all the factors that go in to what the size of the Earth in a photograph taken from the moon should be.  I can't imagine that they have done anything more than fabricate in their minds how big they think it should be - based on which photograph of the moon they've seen from Earth - I have no idea.  It's just not big enough.

Anyway, I've come up with a good way to show hoaxers how big the Earth should be in the photographs.  It's not exact, but it's close enough to get the point across.

Take AS17-134-20461 for example (https://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/alsj/a17/AS17-134-20461HR.jpg)

This photograph was taken with a 60mm lens mounted on a Hasselblad with 70mm film (I call it 6x6).  With this combination of film, the focal length is fairly close to an average smart phone completely zoomed out.  The crop factor of 6x6 film is 0.55 (to arrive at the 35mm equivalent).  This gives us a 35mm equivalent of 33mm.  An average smart phone these days have 35mm equivalents in the 28-29 mm range.  So, if you ask a hoaxer to take a picture of the moon with their iPhone - without zooming in, that is about the right size moon to compare the size of the Earth in the above photograph.  On an iPhone 6S, they'd need to zoom to about 1.15X to get to exactly the same focal length as a 60mm lens on a Hasselblad - so barely anything.

Of course, makes sure they take a picture with the moon in sharp focus so the moon doesn't appear larger than it actually is -- -- and for added measure, exposed properly, maybe they'll learn why stars don't show up in the lunar photos in the process.

Anyway - thought this might be helpful to someone since it's sometimes hard to find pictures of the moon at the right focal lengths to compare to - and then I stumbled on the convenient fact that it's very close to a common smart phone zoomed all the way out.  I looked at the most popular ones, and the equivalents were all in the 26-29mm range.  Certainly enough in the ballpark to get the point across.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 02:55:54 PM by Willoughby »

Offline smartcooky

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Re: The "the earth should be bigger" argument
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2017, 09:06:19 PM »
IMO, part of the reason why people have this perception is that they are fed (through publication of grossly mis-scaled drawings) that idea that the Earth and the Moon are much closer together than they really are. Its the HBs which take this to a new level because they, IMO, take this relationship literally (I am convinced that some HBs, such as Hunchbacked, have vision defects that cause them to really see things differently, but that is another story).

When you understand that this is not the size/distance relationship...



...but this is...


(scroll right to see moon)

... then you realize that the earth should not look as big from the moon as you might imagine
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 09:08:46 PM by smartcooky »
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Offline bknight

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Re: The "the earth should be bigger" argument
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2017, 10:22:25 AM »
IMO, part of the reason why people have this perception is that they are fed (through publication of grossly mis-scaled drawings) that idea that the Earth and the Moon are much closer together than they really are. Its the HBs which take this to a new level because they, IMO, take this relationship literally (I am convinced that some HBs, such as Hunchbacked, have vision defects that cause them to really see things differently, but that is another story)....

I agree with your analysis of hunchbacked, I review one of his videos concerning A12, and the GLARING visual analysis he had in the video was in my mind remarkable.  In the first few minutes I had about 10 corrections that even a newbie as myself and a casual observer would make.  But thee have been many more.
Truth needs no defense.  Nobody can take those footsteps I made on the surface of the moon away from me.
Eugene Cernan

Offline Kiwi

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Re: The "the earth should be bigger" argument
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2017, 10:30:37 AM »
When back on Earth, Gene Cernan described, in his usually eloquent way, his memories of how our planet looked from the Moon:-

Quote
143:20:00 Parker: And, 17, if you want to take a minute, you might look up in the sky and notice that our (TV) camera is taking a beautiful picture of Mother Earth.

143:20:10 Cernan: Isn't that pretty over...Can you see the Massif, too?

143:20:14 Parker: Now we're coming down to look at the Massif. Had a beautiful picture of the Pacific there? Ed (Fendell) finally found it. Now we see the Massif.

[Schmitt - "Ed had been in charge of the Communications Console for as long as I could remember."]

[Cernan - "The Earth looked big; and, like the Moon looks down here, it probably wasn't as big as it looked. Yet, because the Earth's beauty was so predominant, there was also a feeling that it was the most precious possession a man could stow in his memory. There was the beauty of the colors of the oceans and the clouds: multiple shades of blue, from the azure of the Caribbean to the deep dark blues of the Pacific; the shades of white of the clouds and the snow; and the black of space around it. There you were, standing on the surface of the Moon in full sunlight, looking at the Earth, a quarter million miles away, surrounded by the blackest black. Not darkness, but the blackest black a human being can conceive in his mind. I think the perception that the Earth looks bigger than it really is probably comes from the majesty of its colors and from the fact that you are there on the Moon, looking back at it. It's an overpowering figure of life in the sky."]

["Even on the TV, it is a spectacular view. It's a half Earth and you can see clouds and the blues of the oceans. With your naked eye, you could make out continents. You can imagine working on the slope of the Massif on top of the Scarp and, every once in a while you have to look over your shoulder to look at what's looking at you and think about where you are and what you're doing. Sometimes, it still hardly seems like it was real. It sometimes almost seems like we were too nonchalant, worrying about fractures and rocks and rake samples and all that when the Earth was over our shoulders."]

[At maximum zoom, three Earths would fit across the vertical width of the TV screen and about five horizontally. From the lunar surface, Earth's angular diameter is 1.9 degrees and, before Fendell went to maximum zoom, it appeared as though Earth was about ten diameters or 20 degrees above the apparent summit.]

See the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal
https://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/alsj/frame.html
Apollo 17
The Journal
The Second EVA
Geology Station 2 at the base of the South Massif

That last paragraph in the quote brings us to a similar thing in the OP.

Back in the early- or mid-2000s, one hoax-believer made a big thing of some Apollo 17 photos which, to him, "proved" that the moon landings were faked. And he actually did a good job of going through all the usual sums that showed that Earth could never have been that close to the moon's horizon. It was far too low, so the photos were faked, and therefore the moon landings were faked. Or so he thought.  But he had missed an important point:-

Those photos are AS17-137-20957 to 20961, which Cernan shot around GET 143:22:42, at a steep angle up the side of South Massif, instead of horizontally across a flat lunar plain as the HB had assumed.

https://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/alsj/a17/AS17-137-20957HR.jpg
https://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/alsj/a17/AS17-137-20958HR.jpg
https://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/alsj/a17/AS17-137-20959HR.jpg
https://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/alsj/a17/AS17-137-20960HR.jpg
https://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/alsj/a17/AS17-137-20961HR.jpg

The last two include the top of Boulder 2 at Nansen Crater.

I don't recall any photos taken across a flat plain at Taurus-Littrow that show a flat horizon without mountains or hills in the background, except for tiny areas in the west where the hills are over the horizon.

This is just another example of an HB not doing his homework and finding out exactly how the photos were taken and exactly what the lunar surface is that they show. Furthermore there's the evidence that Ed Fendell produced by continuously panning, tilting and zooming the TV camera around the geology site and up at Earth, then back down to the lunar surface and the astronauts.

Some HBs also take Cernan's quote about the blackest black "proving the fake because the stars should be shining so brightly."

In doing so they show that they know nothing about how dim stars are when compared to the much brighter sunlit scenery, and also show that they know nothing about dark adaption for seeing stars and have probably never done their own experiments with it.

I do it often on clear moonless nights in my near-dark-sky area. Lie down in a dark room for seven or eight minutes with eyes open, then go outside (avoiding white light on the way) and view the amazing southern stars in all their glory, instantly seeing the Magellanic Clouds and a few seconds later Omega Centauri, the finest globular cluster of all. It never ceases to be awe-inspiring, but it's a boring sight when under bright lights with my iris stopped down and rods and cones not doing their job.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 11:54:15 AM by Kiwi »
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Offline twik

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Re: The "the earth should be bigger" argument
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2017, 12:15:58 PM »
I think a lot of HBs have never tried to take pictures of celestial objects, and REALLY don't understand that "what you see is not what you get." It just took a few pictures with a point-and-shoot for me to learn that that big orange harvest moon that seemed to fill the sky in real life looked tiny on my developed prints, and as far as photographing stars with a p/s camera? Not happening.

But the HBs *see* these things, and they think the camera will reproduce exactly what they see.

Offline raven

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Re: The "the earth should be bigger" argument
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2017, 01:46:08 PM »
I admit, this is one I have some sympathy with. It's not exactly what one would call intuitive, and a lot of conspiracy theorist beliefs seem to be from when 'common sense' runs into fact.

Offline onebigmonkey

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Re: The "the earth should be bigger" argument
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2017, 03:20:10 PM »
Speaking of continuously panning, I pieced together a load of screenshots from Apollo 7's EVA at Nansen crater and produced this



(See this link for the full size version http://i.imgur.com/DY11nsN.jpg )

The boulder above which Earth appears is visible between the LRV's various appendages.

I did it for fun, but also to illustrate that without proper context the image of Earth hanging above that boulder is misleading - it gives the impression that it was low in the sky, rather than above the summit of a steep slope.

Offline Glom

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Re: The "the earth should be bigger" argument
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2017, 05:47:28 PM »
I admit, this is one I have some sympathy with. It's not exactly what one would call intuitive, and a lot of conspiracy theorist beliefs seem to be from when 'common sense' runs into fact.
TV tropes calls it reality is unrealistic.

I impressed by professors many many years ago when do an oral presentation on physics teaching and I was given a question about orbits amd drew the Earth-Moon system to scale (or near to). They'd never seen anyone do that before.

Offline BertieSlack

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Re: The "the earth should be bigger" argument
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2017, 08:46:01 AM »
Anyway, I've come up with a good way to show hoaxers how big the Earth should be in the photographs.  It's not exact, but it's close enough to get the point across.

Here's a very quick and simple way to do it:

1. We know the moon's average angular diameter viewed from Earth is 31 arcminutes
2. We know the Earth's diameter is 3.7 times the Moon's diameter
3. Therefore the Earth would have an average angular diameter of 1.9 degrees viewed from the Moon
4. We know the horizontal field-of-view of the Zeiss Biogon f5.6 60mm is 47 degrees
5. Therefore you should be able to fit approximately 25 (47 divided by 1.9) Earths across the width of an Apollo EVA photo
6. Guess what? You can.

Measuring Earth as a proportion of the width of the image it actually looks like the Earth is slightly TOO BIG in the Apollo 17 flag photos. It is certainly not WAY TOO SMALL as the hoaxnuts claim. There are a couple of possible reasons why the Earth appears slightly bigger than it should (on average) in those photos:

1. The Earth/Moon distance varies by more than 10% during the Moon's elliptical orbit.
2. The photos have probably been cropped slightly for aesthetic reasons (the raw scans from the film rolls would show the edges of the reseau plate)

Here's the technical spec for the 60mm lens:
http://apollo.mem-tek.com/Biogon_60mm_5dot6/Biogon5dot6_60mm_104800_e_page1.gif

Online Abaddon

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Re: The "the earth should be bigger" argument
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2017, 12:33:42 PM »
Anyway, I've come up with a good way to show hoaxers how big the Earth should be in the photographs.  It's not exact, but it's close enough to get the point across.

Here's a very quick and simple way to do it:

1. We know the moon's average angular diameter viewed from Earth is 31 arcminutes
2. We know the Earth's diameter is 3.7 times the Moon's diameter
3. Therefore the Earth would have an average angular diameter of 1.9 degrees viewed from the Moon
4. We know the horizontal field-of-view of the Zeiss Biogon f5.6 60mm is 47 degrees
5. Therefore you should be able to fit approximately 25 (47 divided by 1.9) Earths across the width of an Apollo EVA photo
6. Guess what? You can.

Measuring Earth as a proportion of the width of the image it actually looks like the Earth is slightly TOO BIG in the Apollo 17 flag photos. It is certainly not WAY TOO SMALL as the hoaxnuts claim. There are a couple of possible reasons why the Earth appears slightly bigger than it should (on average) in those photos:

1. The Earth/Moon distance varies by more than 10% during the Moon's elliptical orbit.
2. The photos have probably been cropped slightly for aesthetic reasons (the raw scans from the film rolls would show the edges of the reseau plate)

Here's the technical spec for the 60mm lens:
http://apollo.mem-tek.com/Biogon_60mm_5dot6/Biogon5dot6_60mm_104800_e_page1.gif
Sadly, the hoax wingnuts don't care about reality.