Author Topic: Apollo 11 Flag  (Read 1163 times)

Offline jr Knowing

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Apollo 11 Flag
« on: December 12, 2018, 12:10:19 AM »
During the Apollo 11 mission the American flag is oriented one particular way in all the photos, film, and TV coverage during the EVA and post EVA. it is positioned facing the TV camera which is set up away from the LM. It is angled so the light catches the entire flag. You can see this clearly in the DAC footage here (2:50 onwards) 

You can also see the same orientation post EVA here in Apollo magazine 37/R photos. (ie  photos 5471- 5473)  https://www.flickr.com/photos/projectapolloarchive/albums/72157658638144538

Having said this, there is one piece of film footage that shows the flag rotated in the opposite direction. The flag is now oriented so the whole flag can catch the light from this filming position of the LM window. The footage lasts for about 40 seconds and is broken up into 4 separate pans. It is on one of the DAC films. The footage runs from about the 25 second mark to 1:35. The best view is the 45 second mark. 


My question is how is this possible? Two hours post EVA Aldrin communicates to ground control stating they are using up the left over film. The photos taken post EVA show the flag in the correct position yet somehow on this short film footage the flag is rotated the other way (to make a better picture?) Short of them test firing the RCS's ten- fifteen minutes before lift off and causing the flag to move (to a convenient well lit position), I don't see how this could happen. Even if this did happen with the test fire, why would they wait until literally the last minute to film? They were in the LM 12 hours post EVA. Minutes before liftoff they got a lot of other things to worry about. Besides the DAC by that time should have been set up in the window for take off and not have been hand held and moved around between the two windows (as seen in this DAC footage) Any thoughts out there? Thanks

 

Offline Allan F

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Re: Apollo 11 Flag
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2018, 01:49:23 AM »
Because there was a test firing of the RCS, which impinged on the flag. Look for the transcript on Apollo Lunar Surface Journal.
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Offline BertieSlack

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Re: Apollo 11 Flag
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2018, 02:03:58 AM »
Because there was a test firing of the RCS, which impinged on the flag. Look for the transcript on Apollo Lunar Surface Journal.

The RCS hot-fire test moved the flag, but there may have been some movement before that. The astronauts reported that they had trouble driving the flag pole far into the lunar surface so it would hold properly. They had to lean the pole slightly to stop it falling over. This is what Armstrong said in the post-mission debrief:

"The flagstaff was pushed into the ground at a slight angle such that the c.g. of the overall unit would tend to be somewhat above the point at which the flagstaff was in-
serted in the lunar surface. That seemed to hold alright, but I noted later after getting back into the LM that the weight of the flag had rotated the entire unit about the flagpole axis such that the flag was no longer pointed in the sane direction as it was originally. I suspect that the weight of the flagpole probably had shifted its position in the sand a little bit from the position where it had originally been installed."

It's not completely clear whether the RCS hot-fire test was before or after Armstrong's noticing the flag had moved. On another mission (can't remember which one) the depressurisation of the cabin before the dumping overboard of the PLSS backpacks may also have moved the flag.

Offline jr Knowing

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Re: Apollo 11 Flag
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2018, 10:24:40 AM »
Thanks for the replies. I have read the surface journal in the past. The editors of the journal are just guessing and trying to rationalize how the flag changed direction. In fact, they went as far as implying Armstrong didn't know what he was talking about when he suggested he saw the flag had moved when he got back in the LM. Who are we suppose to believe? Armstrong or some guys writing about it 30 years later?

The issue, of course, is Armstrong's comments can't be correct due to the existence of the post EVA photos showing the flag in the original position. So the question still remains. When did the flag change? And another thing to contemplate is why did they do 4 short pans of the same thing. In all the missions, very rarely did they take multiple shots or pans of the same thing. It was usually one shot, done, and move on. A bit odd given the (photo) camera they were using didn't have a viewfinder. Thanks for your input.

Offline nomuse

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Re: Apollo 11 Flag
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2018, 11:09:10 AM »
Welcome to history.

If a thing happened THIS MORNING, there will still be gaps and inconsistencies as we try to reconstruct it.

Offline bknight

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Re: Apollo 11 Flag
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2018, 11:12:16 AM »
Thanks for the replies. I have read the surface journal in the past. The editors of the journal are just guessing and trying to rationalize how the flag changed direction. In fact, they went as far as implying Armstrong didn't know what he was talking about when he suggested he saw the flag had moved when he got back in the LM. Who are we suppose to believe? Armstrong or some guys writing about it 30 years later?

The issue, of course, is Armstrong's comments can't be correct due to the existence of the post EVA photos showing the flag in the original position. So the question still remains. When did the flag change? And another thing to contemplate is why did they do 4 short pans of the same thing. In all the missions, very rarely did they take multiple shots or pans of the same thing. It was usually one shot, done, and move on. A bit odd given the (photo) camera they were using didn't have a viewfinder. Thanks for your input.

Bolded is not correct.  They interview/debriefed the crews after each mission so the comment are from the individual memories of the astronauts.

You stated that they were attempting to use up magazines.  Pans used a large number of shots in a short period of time.  Nothing suspicious to a reasonable person unless you are JAQ leading to "I don't understand, therefore it is fake/fraud etc.
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Offline Kiwi

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Re: Apollo 11 Flag
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2018, 11:38:05 AM »
This bit in the ALSJ gives some approximate times that the post-EVA photos were taken:

Quote
112:20:56 Aldrin: Roger, Houston. Tranquility Base. We're in the process of using up what film we have, and I'm just getting ready to change the primary ECS canister. Over.

[They are finishing up magazines 37/R, taking AS11-37-5460 to 5555, and 39/Q, taking AS11-39-5792 to 5839. Journal Contributor Bob Farwell has selected frames from Magazine 37/R for a pan covering both windows. Note that Farwell's construction involves a certain amount of artistic license because neither Neil or Buzz actually had an unrestricted view from side to side, as shown by pans assembled from Magazine 39/Q images for the CDR window and the LMP window. Exercising a bit more artistic license, Farwell has created an enhanced version by using pre-EVA image AS11-37-5452 to fill the a gap in the post-EVA coverage below Neil's window.]

[Frame 5480 (scan by Kipp Teague) shows the view out Buzz's window, including the flag and the TV camera. Note the cluster of boulders in the background. These may have been ejected from West Crater.]

[All the photos taken at this time are out the forward windows except AS11-37-5506 to 5509 which are photos of Earth taken out the rendezvous window over Neil's head. These may be the Earth photos that Neil remembers taking - rather than AS11-40-5923 and 5924, the two taken out on the surface, probably by Buzz. Note that none of these photos have reseau crosses, indicating that they were taken with the IVA Hasselblad. The EVA Hasselblad was purposefully left outside.]

[Aldrin, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "This period was prolonged a bit to try to make as much use of the film remaining. I think we probably took more pictures than we should have in an effort to make sure that we covered each particular window as thoroughly as possible and with as wide a range of settings as we could before we proceeded to jettison the camera."]

[During the 1991 mission review, we talked a little about the post-EVA window pan.]

[Aldrin - "Look at how the dust kicked up around here (near the flag and the TV camera beyond). It makes it really darker, as viewed from this angle which is sort of out to the front and the right (that is, northwest out Buzz's window)."]

[Jack Schmitt has hypothesized that, during the landing, the LM engines sweep away a lot of the very fine dust and leave behind a surface with a disproportionate number of small rock fragments sticking up. These reflect more sunlight than the normal surface would, making it look brighter than normal. Certainly, from orbit, the areas around the landed LM's are brighter than the surrounding countryside. Then, when the crew walks around near the LM, they stir up the soil and return it to something closer to its normal condition. Against the abnormally bright background, then, the disturbed soil looks dark. In support of his contention, Jack notes that, at geology stations far from the LM, disturbed soil doesn't look dark.]

[I asked how the horizon looked.]

[Armstrong - "The horizon looks close. But, because it's hilly you're probably not seeing all the horizon you could see. An intermediate hill is probably cutting it out. It wasn't mountainous in our area; it was flat. But there were still crater rims and so on that probably affected how far out the observable horizon was."]

112:21:14 McCandless: Roger, Tranquility. We'd like to hold off as long as possible on the lithium hydroxide canister. Make that one of the last things you do in getting ready for the Depress, if you can. Over.

112:21:31 Aldrin: Roger. We're planning on doing that. I was just wondering how much longer we want to wait, though. We've probably got another half an hour's worth of picture taking, and I guess we could run through an eat cycle and then change the canister, and then Depress. Over.

112:21:56 McCandless: Roger. That sounds fine to us.

112:22:02 Aldrin: Well, it'll be a little crowded in here for a while.

112:22:06 McCandless: Oh, we don't mind a bit! (Pause)

Snip.  Nearly an hour later:

113:17:52 Armstrong: Roger. We just finished up...We're just finishing up our eat period. Be ready to go back into Prep for Depress.

So that means the photos were taken over at least 30 minutes ending at roughly 112:52, and before they ate. They were using up the films instead of leaving them blank, and Aldrin would have been doing the same with the DAC camera later, so he could put a fresh magazine in for the liftoff.

Note that in Armstrong's statement about the flag, he is only pointing out that he saw it had changed afterward when in the LM, meaning not during the EVA and probably not immediately after getting into the LM either, which might have been impossible anyway until he and Aldrin doffed their helmets and PLSSes. So there's no inconsistency between what he said and what we see in the photos.

Maybe he could have seen it had moved after Depressing the LM and offloading the junk (at 114:05:00), then Repressing, or even after trying to sleep. There was another ten hours before Lunar liftoff at 124:22:00.79, so plenty more time for the flag to move and the sun to rise and maybe warm up flag, pole and ground. (These figures are from the Apollo 11 Timeline at Apollo by the Numbers.)
https://history.nasa.gov/SP-4029/SP-4029.htm

I don't see any big mystery here.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2018, 12:40:31 PM by Kiwi »
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Offline bknight

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Re: Apollo 11 Flag
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2018, 12:37:53 PM »
This bit in the ALSJ gives some approximate times that the post-EVA photos were taken:

Quote
112:20:56 Aldrin: Roger, Houston. Tranquility Base. We're in the process of using up what film we have, and I'm just getting ready to change the primary ECS canister. Over.

[They are finishing up magazines 37/R, taking AS11-37-5460 to 5555, and 39/Q, taking AS11-39-5792 to 5839. Journal Contributor Bob Farwell has selected frames from Magazine 37/R for a pan covering both windows. Note that Farwell's construction involves a certain amount of artistic license because neither Neil or Buzz actually had an unrestricted view from side to side, as shown by pans assembled from Magazine 39/Q images for the CDR window and the LMP window. Exercising a bit more artistic license, Farwell has created an enhanced version by using pre-EVA image AS11-37-5452 to fill the a gap in the post-EVA coverage below Neil's window.]

[Frame 5480 (scan by Kipp Teague) shows the view out Buzz's window, including the flag and the TV camera. Note the cluster of boulders in the background. These may have been ejected from West Crater.]

[All the photos taken at this time are out the forward windows except AS11-37-5506 to 5509 which are photos of Earth taken out the rendezvous window over Neil's head. These may be the Earth photos that Neil remembers taking - rather than AS11-40-5923 and 5924, the two taken out on the surface, probably by Buzz. Note that none of these photos have reseau crosses, indicating that they were taken with the IVA Hasselblad. The EVA Hasselblad was purposefully left outside.]

[Aldrin, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "This period was prolonged a bit to try to make as much use of the film remaining. I think we probably took more pictures than we should have in an effort to make sure that we covered each particular window as thoroughly as possible and with as wide a range of settings as we could before we proceeded to jettison the camera."]

[During the 1991 mission review, we talked a little about the post-EVA window pan.]

[Aldrin - "Look at how the dust kicked up around here (near the flag and the TV camera beyond). It makes it really darker, as viewed from this angle which is sort of out to the front and the right (that is, northwest out Buzz's window)."]

[Jack Schmitt has hypothesized that, during the landing, the LM engines sweep away a lot of the very fine dust and leave behind a surface with a disproportionate number of small rock fragments sticking up. These reflect more sunlight than the normal surface would, making it look brighter than normal. Certainly, from orbit, the areas around the landed LM's are brighter than the surrounding countryside. Then, when the crew walks around near the LM, they stir up the soil and return it to something closer to its normal condition. Against the abnormally bright background, then, the disturbed soil looks dark. In support of his contention, Jack notes that, at geology stations far from the LM, disturbed soil doesn't look dark.]

[I asked how the horizon looked.]

[Armstrong - "The horizon looks close. But, because it's hilly you're probably not seeing all the horizon you could see. An intermediate hill is probably cutting it out. It wasn't mountainous in our area; it was flat. But there were still crater rims and so on that probably affected how far out the observable horizon was."]

112:21:14 McCandless: Roger, Tranquility. We'd like to hold off as long as possible on the lithium hydroxide canister. Make that one of the last things you do in getting ready for the Depress, if you can. Over.

112:21:31 Aldrin: Roger. We're planning on doing that. I was just wondering how much longer we want to wait, though. We've probably got another half an hour's worth of picture taking, and I guess we could run through an eat cycle and then change the canister, and then Depress. Over.

112:21:56 McCandless: Roger. That sounds fine to us.

112:22:02 Aldrin: Well, it'll be a little crowded in here for a while.

112:22:06 McCandless: Oh, we don't mind a bit! (Pause)

Snip.  Nearly an hour later:

113:17:52 Armstrong: Roger. We just finished up...We're just finishing up our eat period. Be ready to go back into Prep for Depress.

So that means the photos were taken over at least 30 minutes ending at roughly 112:52, and before they ate. They were using up the films instead of leaving them blank, and Aldrin would have been doing the same with the DAC camera later, so he could put a fresh magazine in for the liftoff.

Note that in Armstrong's statement about the flag, he is only pointing out that he saw it had changed afterward when in the LM, meaning not during the EVA and probably not immediately after getting into the LM either, which might have been impossible anyway until he and Aldrin doffed their helmets and PLSSes. So there's no inconsistency between what he said and what we see in the photos.

Maybe he could have seen it had moved after Depressing the LM and offloading the junk (at 114:05:00), then Repressing, or even after trying to sleep. There was another ten hours before Lunar liftoff at 124:22:00.79, so plenty more time for the flag to move. (These figures are from the Apollo 11 Timeline at Apollo by the Numbers.)
https://history.nasa.gov/SP-4029/SP-4029.htm

I don't see any big mystery here.


Good job, Kiwi  I don't see any problems either.
Truth needs no defense.  Nobody can take those footsteps I made on the surface of the moon away from me.
Eugene Cernan

Offline onebigmonkey

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Re: Apollo 11 Flag
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2018, 03:46:49 PM »
There's quite a bit on the Apollo 14 hotfire test at the ALSJ, including this comparison of 16mm stills before and after:



and this text:

140:50:02 Shepard: Okay. Here we go. (Long Pause) Okay, Houston. The (S-band) antenna blew over.

All on this page:

https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a14/a14.launch.html

Offline bknight

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Re: Apollo 11 Flag
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2018, 08:23:26 AM »
There's quite a bit on the Apollo 14 hotfire test at the ALSJ, including this comparison of 16mm stills before and after:



and this text:

140:50:02 Shepard: Okay. Here we go. (Long Pause) Okay, Houston. The (S-band) antenna blew over.

All on this page:

https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a14/a14.launch.html

These images were clearly taken from different windows, the left from Shepard's window the two right images from Mitchell's window.  The flag indeed does seem to change but this is from perspective.  Nothing suspicious here unless you closely look at the original poster's poor image analysis knowledge.
Truth needs no defense.  Nobody can take those footsteps I made on the surface of the moon away from me.
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Offline Jason Thompson

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Re: Apollo 11 Flag
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2018, 08:43:54 AM »
There's quite a bit on the Apollo 14 hotfire test at the ALSJ, including this comparison of 16mm stills before and after:



and this text:

140:50:02 Shepard: Okay. Here we go. (Long Pause) Okay, Houston. The (S-band) antenna blew over.

All on this page:

https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a14/a14.launch.html

These images were clearly taken from different windows, the left from Shepard's window the two right images from Mitchell's window.  The flag indeed does seem to change but this is from perspective.  Nothing suspicious here unless you closely look at the original poster's poor image analysis knowledge.

I think the point is not the difference between the left and middle image, which is indeed perspective as a result of being taken from different windows, but the middle and right image where the flag has clearly moved as a result of the RCS firing test.
"There's this idea that everyone's opinion is equally valid. My arse! Bloke who was a professor of dentistry for forty years does NOT have a debate with some eejit who removes his teeth with string and a door!"  - Dara O'Briain

Offline bknight

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Re: Apollo 11 Flag
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2018, 11:59:18 AM »
There's quite a bit on the Apollo 14 hotfire test at the ALSJ, including this comparison of 16mm stills before and after:



and this text:

140:50:02 Shepard: Okay. Here we go. (Long Pause) Okay, Houston. The (S-band) antenna blew over.

All on this page:

https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a14/a14.launch.html

These images were clearly taken from different windows, the left from Shepard's window the two right images from Mitchell's window.  The flag indeed does seem to change but this is from perspective.  Nothing suspicious here unless you closely look at the original poster's poor image analysis knowledge.

I think the point is not the difference between the left and middle image, which is indeed perspective as a result of being taken from different windows, but the middle and right image where the flag has clearly moved as a result of the RCS firing test.

I agree with you Jason, I was attempting to present the perspective aspect to images that seem to be moved.  There seem to be a lot of JAQ by our poster, and I don't believe he has really studied all aspects of the missions prior to raising his hand.

EDIT to add:  I should have used better description of the window middle right etc. in my previous post. :-[
« Last Edit: December 13, 2018, 12:09:51 PM by bknight »
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Offline Kiwi

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Re: Apollo 11 Flag
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2018, 10:08:38 AM »
These images were clearly taken from different windows, the left from Shepard's window the two right images from Mitchell's window.  The flag indeed does seem to change but this is from perspective.

Gotta disagree. The flag does change position, but only because the DAC is rotated anticlockwise.

When I looked at those three I believed they were all taken out the same window, but in case I was wrong, checked the caption of the left-hand one, AS14-66-9338, and indeed, it was taken by Ed, and the surrounding ones prove it was -- see also 9337, 9338 and 9340 and their captions. The tracks of the MET match up among all three.

A photo taken out of Al's window would be unlikely to catch the shadow of the right-hand RCS thrusters and (I think) plume deflector, which we can see at bottom left of 9338 and at the top of both centre and right shots.

Also there's the large and two small multiple craters almost at the top of the flag in AS14-66-9338. They are further to the right in the other two. Then there's the shadow of the S-Band antenna in both left and centre photos of the trio. Because the antenna was blown away by the test, it's not in the right-hand shot.

Bigger view of the three shots: https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a14/ap14hotfire.jpg

Another good DAC still during the test: https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a14/ap14-S71-19500HR.jpg

One thing some people might miss in the three shots, and initially had me fooled until I properly analysed things, is that the DAC camera is looking through a different part of the window and possibly closer to it, but most of all it is pointed further down and rotated anticlockwise about 55 degrees.  Check it out -- the only real difference between first and second photo is the different view and the rotation.

Once that's taken into account, the correspondences go on and on and on:-

PLSS behind plume deflector? Same place, both are just rotated clockwise.
Three cat's-claw shadows with two touching flagpole shadow? Same place, just rotated up.
Piece of equipment beyond flag shadow and casting triangular shadow? Same, rotated to top centre.
Shadow of tiny sharp crater just above MET shadow? Same, both are just rotated.
Darkest shadow in S-Band antenna shadow almost touching tiny crater? Same.
Rock at 3 o'clock from flag? Same, right on the edge of the DAC stills.
Flag and flagpole shadows? Rotated to almost where the flag was.

Carry on and you'll find more.
Don't criticize what you can't understand. — Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are A-Changin'” (1963)
Some people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices and superstitions. — Edward R. Murrow (1908–65)

Offline bknight

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Re: Apollo 11 Flag
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2018, 12:03:41 PM »
These images were clearly taken from different windows, the left from Shepard's window the two right images from Mitchell's window.  The flag indeed does seem to change but this is from perspective.

Gotta disagree. The flag does change position, but only because the DAC is rotated anticlockwise.

When I looked at those three I believed they were all taken out the same window, but in case I was wrong, checked the caption of the left-hand one, AS14-66-9338, and indeed, it was taken by Ed, and the surrounding ones prove it was -- see also 9337, 9338 and 9340 and their captions. The tracks of the MET match up among all three.

A photo taken out of Al's window would be unlikely to catch the shadow of the right-hand RCS thrusters and (I think) plume deflector, which we can see at bottom left of 9338 and at the top of both centre and right shots.

Also there's the large and two small multiple craters almost at the top of the flag in AS14-66-9338. They are further to the right in the other two. Then there's the shadow of the S-Band antenna in both left and centre photos of the trio. Because the antenna was blown away by the test, it's not in the right-hand shot.

Bigger view of the three shots: https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a14/ap14hotfire.jpg

Another good DAC still during the test: https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a14/ap14-S71-19500HR.jpg

One thing some people might miss in the three shots, and initially had me fooled until I properly analysed things, is that the DAC camera is looking through a different part of the window and possibly closer to it, but most of all it is pointed further down and rotated anticlockwise about 55 degrees.  Check it out -- the only real difference between first and second photo is the different view and the rotation.

Once that's taken into account, the correspondences go on and on and on:-

PLSS behind plume deflector? Same place, both are just rotated clockwise.
Three cat's-claw shadows with two touching flagpole shadow? Same place, just rotated up.
Piece of equipment beyond flag shadow and casting triangular shadow? Same, rotated to top centre.
Shadow of tiny sharp crater just above MET shadow? Same, both are just rotated.
Darkest shadow in S-Band antenna shadow almost touching tiny crater? Same.
Rock at 3 o'clock from flag? Same, right on the edge of the DAC stills.
Flag and flagpole shadows? Rotated to almost where the flag was.

Carry on and you'll find more.

I'm not see the camera rotating, probably moved from middle to right, but I'm not seeing the rotation.
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: Apollo 11 Flag
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2018, 07:30:46 AM »
...I'm not seeing the rotation.

Are you keeping in mind that camera rotated anticlockwise, right side up, left side down, equals scene rotated clockwise? Right side down, left side up.

Just compare the flag, its pole and and its shadow and the piece of equipment on the ground above the shadow. If you could place them over the centre DAC photo with the base of the pole aligned, you should be able to see that clockwise rotation of the DAC photos.

Graphics are not one of my skills, but can another member please grab a copy of AS14-66-9338, rotate it 55 degrees clockwise, resize it, and post it next  to or over the DAC photos so bknight can see the rotation. All the correspondences, the near-identical placings, are there and easy enough to see -- the photos are amazingly similar.

Many photo viewers allow image rotation -- I use the marvellous freebie IrfanView and it does.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2018, 07:58:38 AM by Kiwi »
Don't criticize what you can't understand. — Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are A-Changin'” (1963)
Some people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices and superstitions. — Edward R. Murrow (1908–65)