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Geology and lunar rocks

  1. May 23, 2008 #1
    Hi, I am trying to find out about lunar rocks, the ones that came back from apollo.
    Moon landing hoaxers debunk the whole thing but in my mind, it seems unanswerable the idea that in the 60's and 70's we could have faked the moon rocks brought back. So, I am trying to see if I can close that argument. For instance, are there scientific papers from anytime in the first half of the 20'th century that made good estimates of the amount of water to expect in lunar rocks? I am assuming in order to do a good fake job, you would have to have accurate info on that at least. So if not, then the argument would be, they had no way of knowing in advance the amount of H2O in lunar rocks so could not have duplicated them beforehand.
    The second tactic would say even now in the 21st century we cannot duplicate the lunar rocks, much less back 30-40 years ago. I think they had no way of knowing back then the lunar rocks would have so close to zero water, the dryest rocks on earth would be positively wet comparted to lunar rock, so if they didn't know that in advance and even assuming they could duplicate them, they could not have gotten it right.
    The third tactic would involve the mass brought back, something over 400 Kg.
    We all know about the mars meteoroids landing in Antarctica and so lunar material should be even more readily available. Have those lunar meteoroids been gathered in enough volume to fake getting the rocks from the moon? If so, wouln't they show obvious heat damage going through the atmosphere and therefore be useless as a direct substitute for real lunar rocks directly picked up on the surface? I would have to admit probably, lunar meteoroids, if proven where they originated, could be studied and the water content detected, so maybe it was already known what the percentage was.
    So could we, even today, given a good set of specs of lunar rock, duplicate them in ANY lab anywhere on earth?
    I hope to be able to make an unassailable case that none of that could have happened, therefore the lunar rocks are genuine from the surface of the moon, as the bottom line of the whole apollo program. Thank you in advance, any geologists out there. Don.
    Last edited: May 23, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. May 23, 2008 #2
    I can't help you much, but I'd like to say that you have a nice angle on the whole thing. This would be a great point to bring up when dealing with the loons who think it was staged.
  4. May 23, 2008 #3
    Thanks for the support. I play chess on a site called 'redhotpawn' and there is one particularly annoying person who must be a nazi holocaust denier too, would not put it past her. She denies the whole thing ever took place. I was there, trained on the apollo tracking and timing, atomic clocks and the transponder that measured how far out the apollo was, accurate to within 15 meters. I can't believe there are actually people writing books and making a living off this. I would like once and for all to pack these people up and put them back in the insane asylum where they first came from:)
  5. May 24, 2008 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    Unfortunately, in my experience you are probably wasting your time. People like that arrive at the conclusions that they do because they are irrational in the first place. Rational arguments won't change that. But you can tell pretty quickly: They start dodging or simply denying the facts that speak against their case.
  6. May 24, 2008 #5
    The H20 content also varies depending on exactly where the samples were taken from. All moon rocks aren't created equally. H20 content aside, the composition of the rocks along with the level of radioactive decay shows us their true age.. and that they came from the moon. You also have to remember that the Apollo program wasn't the only one that brought samples back. The Soviets Luna 16, 20 and 24 also returned samples. To date, there have been no discrepancies in the samples that have been returned (besides differences in the sample locations) to even suspect that any of the rocks were 'duplicated'.
  7. May 24, 2008 #6

    Vanadium 50

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    I don't think you will convince any of the conspiracy theorists. If you have a conspiracy that can fake a moon landing, it can fake a couple of reports about some rocks.
  8. May 24, 2008 #7


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    Other references:

    Ages, Irradiation History, and Chemical Composition of Lunar Rocks from the Sea of Tranquillity



    Radiation characteristics and He-3 content are also unique to some lunar material. It would require extraordinary effort to reproduce on earth.

    There are plenty of independent studies on meteorites and lunar rocks. Even with a 'unassailable case', some people would refuse to accept the possibility of humans traveling to and/or landing on the moon. I've seen some of the original film shot of the first moon landing (besides watching all the other news coverage, meeting some of the astronauts, and working with various folks from NASA), so I'm quite comfortable that the lunar rocks are actually lunar rocks.

    Just don't get worked up about those who don't want to accept what we have achieved.
  9. May 24, 2008 #8
    Hey, thanks for that! Do you know of studies of lunar ejecta that reached earth, if they could have known say, in 1960 or so, of the composition of lunar material? Like you said, high in silcates and refractory stuff (didn't think of al as refractory, but maybe the oxides:)
    and low in H2 or H2O. Just wanted to try to bolster the case for nobody knowing what the lunar material would have been back then and the impossiblility for them to have been faked in a lab somewhere. I am just an optical technician, not an engineer so I don't know how to research this kind of thing.
    My contention is there was no way to fake the rocks because they wouldn't have known the composition of the rocks in 1960 and couldn't make rocks even today with such low H2 or H20 levels, that plus the rocks from the russian luna craft agree with ours so that would make the so-called conspiracy even greater, involving the Russians during the cold war days to somehow fool thousands of scientists, this thing just gets more and more rediculous when you think about it. If the Russians had any hint of fakes, they would have jumped on that like a dog on a bone, you can take that to the bank! Imagine the propaganda victory they would have gotten if they had been able to prove something like that! Anyway, thanks for the info!
  10. May 24, 2008 #9


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    With respect to the term refractory with respect to Ca, Al and Ti, is really a reference to refactory oxides, not the elements themselves. Al forms alumina Al2O3, e.g. sapphire, and Ti forms TiO2, e.g. rutile. The elements Ca, Al and Ti are not considered refractory metals (with high melting points), as are W, Mo, Ta, W, Re, but rather Mg, Al and Ti may be considered reactive since they form oxides rather energetically, e.g. thermite reaction of Al + Fe oxide.

    Another interesting reference:
    Last edited: May 24, 2008
  11. May 24, 2008 #10
    your last ref.

    I first thought he said a one Kg rock at 73 Km/s would have 3E22 joules but then I re-read it and it says a 1 KILOMETER rock would have that much kinetic energy. A bit differant! I was calculating about 2.6E9 joules of kinetic energy per Kg at that velocity so that rock must mass about 1.1E13 Kg. Do you know the size of the asteroid that hit in the Yucatan 65 million years ago? Just a bit off the subject but I was crunching #'s on that statement.
    Last edited: May 24, 2008
  12. May 24, 2008 #11


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  13. May 24, 2008 #12
    So if the 1 km rock hitting the moon had an energy of 3E22 joules, then some # between the 10 and 14, say 12 Km, would roughly be 12 cubed or about 1800 times the mass of the 1 Km rock or about 5 E 25 joules, so about 18 BILLION megatons of TNT. I think. Man, thats a lot of energy, no wonder it offed the dino's!
  14. May 24, 2008 #13
    I agree with Vanadium saying that your wasting your time. Faith is a very strong force and can completely blind people at times... even in the face of surmountable evidence. No matter what you have to say or what evidence you have to provide, as long as they 'believe' they are correct, their faith overrules.

    A friend of mine is exactly like this and continues to this day to believe that the lunar landings were faked. We actually had a sit down a few years ago where he would state the aspect that he called as evidence of it being faked, and I would then respond with the answer and proof to back it up. This went round and round for about three hours till I finally have up, realizing that i'm never going to convince him. Ever.
  15. May 24, 2008 #14
    What I wonder if this is something to do with the age of the people who think it's faked, like maybe the next gen after the Armstrongs, etc. Although, the gen before that could be obstinate too. My own grandmother, who was about 90 at the time of the landings, said they were faked when she saw the first images. I guess you had to have been there, like I was.
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