Objects flying over the lunar surface

In summary, a video of two unidentified objects orbiting the moon has been circulating on social media. Despite initial speculation and theories, it has been determined that the video is most likely a hoax, as the objects are moving too quickly to be in orbit and the shadows do not match the terrain. Further analysis suggests that the objects were added to the video using editing software, and the timing and precision of the camera angle raises questions about the authenticity of the footage.
  • #1
Glenstr
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TL;DR Summary
could these be satellites or space debris?
This video has been popping up in my feeds over the last day or so, as I'm sure others here have also seen it by now. Looks like it has been taken with one of these super zoom cameras.

After watching it carefully several times, it doesn't appear to be done with creative video editing, which I am somewhat knowledgeable about.

Could this be old remnants from the Apollo missions, or any current satellites orbiting the moon?

Perhaps some large chunks of debris thrown up into orbit from a recent collision from a small asteroid etc?

Given the 2 objects close proximity to each other I don't think they're satellites.

Thoughts on this?
 
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  • #2
Glenstr said:
After watching it carefully several times, it doesn't appear to be done with creative video editing, which I am somewhat knowledgeable about.

You have been fooled.

Glenstr said:
Could this be old remnants from the Apollo missions, or any current satellites orbiting the moon?

Obviously not.
 
  • #3
Im calling BS and photoshop :)

And you missed one, there are 3 on the close up, a 3rd one at the bottom of the video about 50 seconds in. They are all cigar shaped.
 
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  • #4
Glenstr said:
Summary:: could these be satellites or space debris?

This video has been popping up in my feeds over the last day or so, as I'm sure others here have also seen it by now. Looks like it has been taken with one of these super zoom cameras.

After watching it carefully several times, it doesn't appear to be done with creative video editing, which I am somewhat knowledgeable about.

Could this be old remnants from the Apollo missions, or any current satellites orbiting the moon?

Perhaps some large chunks of debris thrown up into orbit from a recent collision from a small asteroid etc?

Given the 2 objects close proximity to each other I don't think they're satellites.

Thoughts on this?
No, it must be a hoax. You should do some quick math to estimate the size of those "objects" based on how big the moon is. I believe the Hubble can just make out a lunar landing spot, but a 30x zoom camera? Only if those things are Star Destroyers, and maybe not even then.
 
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  • #5
Those object should be orbiting in a plane through the centre of the moon. It doesn't look like that's what is happening. Also look at the shadows on the craters. What do you think that implies for the size of those objects?

If you want to take the time, you could download a few frames of that and flip the colour scheme or play with the contrast. You might see the photo shopping they did to make that.
 
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  • #6
Doing that now, downloaded a 1080 version of it and looking at it closer in Resolve 16
 
  • #7
Dr_Nate said:
Those object should be orbiting in a plane through the centre of the moon.

Moon whales don't orbit in a plane. They follow the moon plankton.
 
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  • #8
Watching it frame by frame, forward & reverse with contrast turned up & zoomed in. Adding a moving object to a video with a shadow is quite doable with most editing programs. Having the shadow mimic how a real shadow would act on the 3 dimensional surface below it is another thing, at least to my knowledge, unless there's a technique I'm not yet aware of. The objects shadows shorten & lengthen with the terrain as one would expect, given the angle of the sun etc.

When I get more time I'll see if I can render some zoomed portions, and see if I can clean it up more.

An effect like this is certainly doable, but would be very time consuming.

The shape& size of these would be very distorted by the atmosphere & lens quality etc, so I paid no attention to it. Which is why I was wondering if the could simply be debris flung into orbit from an impact, like the one that hit in January 2019.

I believe one of the orbiting satellites gets as close as 35km altitude, but I don't know what the minimum speed/altitude an object would need to stay in orbit around the moon.
 
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  • #9
Glenstr said:
I believe one of the orbiting satellites gets as close as 35km altitude, but I don't know what the minimum speed/altitude an object would need to stay in orbit around the moon.
There's no minimum altitude because there is no atmosphere; you just need to ensure you are high enough not to hit a mountain.
wiki said:
The LM began its landing sequence with a Descent Orbit Insertion (DOI) burn to lower their periapsis to about 50,000 feet (15 km; 8.2 nmi), chosen to avoid hitting lunar mountains reaching heights of 20,000 feet (6.1 km; 3.3 nmi).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_orbit#Crewed_ spacecraft

Adding a moving object to a video with a shadow is quite doable with most editing programs. Having the shadow mimic how a real shadow would act on the 3 dimensional surface below it is another thing, at least to my knowledge, unless there's a technique I'm not yet aware of. The objects shadows shorten & lengthen with the terrain as one would expect, given the angle of the sun etc.
I'm not particularly impressed by their work on the shadows; since they are only traversing a tiny portion of the moon, they shouldn't have changed shape much.
 
  • #10
First, it ain't an orbit. It's moving two orders of magnitude too fast to be in orbit.

Second, it's a hoax. People have talked about size, but I think a better question is "How did the photographer know exactly where to point his camera on the moon and when?"
 
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  • #11
Vanadium 50 said:
First, it ain't an orbit. It's moving two orders of magnitude to be in orbit.
Too fast, right?
Second, it's a hoax. People have talked about size, but I think a better question is "How did the photographer know exactly where to point his camera on the moon and when?"
That part's easy/plausible: luck.
 
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  • #12
Glenstr said:
Watching it frame by frame, forward & reverse with contrast turned up & zoomed in.

Better watch the news. They are still about corona. No breaking news about giant alien mother ships or Moon whales (thank you PeroK, I almost forgot about them).

Glenstr said:
An effect like this is certainly doable, but would be very time consuming.

It's not that hard if you have a 3d model of the Moon (may be even a sphere would do the job) and tools for rendering and blending.
 
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  • #13
russ_watters said:
That part's easy/plausible: luck.

True that, I have an old photograph somewhere of a white sturgeon doing a full breech on the surface of a river.

Care to calculate what the odds are of me having my camera aimed at that particular spot at that particular time on one of the longest rivers in the nation, and catching a fish doing something they rarely do?
 
  • #14
Glenstr said:
True that, I have an old photograph somewhere of a white sturgeon doing a full breech on the surface of a river.

Care to calculate what the odds are of me having my camera aimed at that particular spot at that particular time on one of the longest rivers in the nation, and catching a fish doing something they rarely do?
That's a lot more lucky than a moon pic. The individual odds are low, but collectively I'd bet there is never a time when there isn't a camera like this pointed at the moon, and even more, there's also always cameras on telescopes pointed at the moon. We don't miss anything that's visible on/near photogenic objects anymore.
 
  • #15
russ_watters said:
I'm not particularly impressed by their work on the shadows; since they are only traversing a tiny portion of the moon, they shouldn't have changed shape much.

When I watch the shadow of one frame by frame, it shortens as it climbs a ridge, then lengthens once over it, then lengthens as it approaches the edge of the daylight.

Doing this with a 3D globe & a flashlight would be doable though, if set up correctly. Mimicking the atmospheric distortion & clouds would be easily doable.
 
  • #16
russ_watters said:
Too fast, right?

Thanks. Fixed.
 
  • #17
Re: luck

How did he know to zoom in on exactly where the moon whales were going to be?
 
  • #18
Glenstr said:
When I watch the shadow of one frame by frame, it shortens as it climbs a ridge, then lengthens once over it, then lengthens as it approaches the edge of the daylight.

Doing this with a 3D globe & a flashlight would be doable though, if set up correctly. Mimicking the atmospheric distortion & clouds would be easily doable.

In one sense it doesn't really matter. For example, Arthur Conan Doyle (who wrote the Sherlock Holmes stories) was taken in by a lot of supernatural claims. This included a photograph of fairies in the garden. He had no knowledge that it was possible to fake photographs and believed this was proof that fairies existed.

But, he didn't have to believe it. He could have imagined that faking a photograph was possible. And, at least as plausible as the existence of fairies.

Let's assume that we find a photograph (or film) of something that seems extraordinary and there are no means we can find directly to discredit the photograph. We don't then have to believe the evidence. We still have two possibilities:

a) That the evidence is genuine and proof of something extraordinary.

b) That the evidence was contrived in some way unknown to us.

There is no compulsion to believe a) just because we lack the means to prove b).
 
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  • #19
PeroK said:
Let's assume that we find a photograph (or film) of something that seems extraordinary and there are no means we can find directly to discredit the photograph. We don't then have to believe the evidence. We still have two possibilities:

a) That the evidence is genuine and proof of something extraordinary.

b) That the evidence was contrived in some way unknown to us.

There is no compulsion to believe a) just because we lack the means to prove b).
You mean like the evidence for the moon landing? ;)
 
  • #20
Glenstr said:
Watching it frame by frame, forward & reverse with contrast turned up & zoomed in. Adding a moving object to a video with a shadow is quite doable with most editing programs. Having the shadow mimic how a real shadow would act on the 3 dimensional surface below it is another thing, at least to my knowledge, unless there's a technique I'm not yet aware of. The objects shadows shorten & lengthen with the terrain as one would expect, given the angle of the sun etc.
Pretty simple using A 3-D ray tracer like POV-Ray.
You create an isosurface object, using a sphere as the base and modifying it with a Bump-map of the Moon (downloadable from NASA). You then apply a texture to the isosurface, which includes an image-map of the Moon (also available at NASA). You add a properly placed and scaled area light ( to mimic sunlight), and your shadow producing objects. You have your shadow producer's positions controlled by a clock variable, which allows you to render multiple frames which can be stitched together as an animation.
The render engine will calculate the proper appearance of the shadow cast on the isosurface, taking into account its general sphere shape and any surface irregularities due to the bump-map.
 
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  • #21
Bandersnatch said:
You mean like the evidence for the moon landing? ;)

I'm not going to be drawn into a debate on that. To take something more topical. Each of us either believes or is skeptical about the claim that Boris Johnson, the British PM, has spent several days in hospital and a couple of nights in intensive care, suffering from COVID-19.

Some people may believe that COVID-19 is a conspiracy; some that Boris being in hospital is a fake publicity stunt; others may take the news in this case at face value.

My point is that the reasons for my personal conclusion that the PM has been in intensive care are more complex than believing a single news item about it.

Why I believe the PM is in hospital and why I believe that the lunar landings really happened and why I don't believe in fairies and that the film in the OP is fake are actually quite complex to analyse. A major factor I would say is the consistency and corroboration with other data.
 
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  • #22
Thread closed temporarily for Moderation...
 
  • #23
After a Mentor discussion, the thread will remain closed. The video is clearly a hoax, and that aspect has been well covered so far in this thread. Thanks for all of your contributions. :smile:
 
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  • #24
Vanadium 50 said:
How did he know to zoom in on exactly where the moon whales were going to be?
It's the most interesting crater in view...?

But I'll grant you there are some oddities in that. People take a lot of pictures of the moon, but videos like this would be much less common. It's like we're getting the view through the viewfinder as the person zooms in and then let's go, before taking the picture. I think there's a page in the hoax playbook where they say to use backdrop videos with unnecessary flaws to make it more obvious that the backdrop video is real. It's a distraction technique.

Anyway, I think this has been sufficiently beaten to death, so let's keep it closed.
 
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1. What are objects flying over the lunar surface?

Objects flying over the lunar surface are any man-made or natural objects that are in motion above the surface of the moon. These can include spacecraft, meteoroids, or debris from previous missions.

2. How do objects fly over the lunar surface?

Objects can fly over the lunar surface due to the moon's lack of atmosphere. Without air resistance, objects can travel at high speeds and for longer distances than on Earth.

3. Can objects fly over the lunar surface without being affected by gravity?

No, all objects flying over the lunar surface are still affected by the moon's gravity. However, the moon's gravity is about one-sixth of Earth's, so objects may appear to float or move differently than on Earth.

4. What is the speed of objects flying over the lunar surface?

The speed of objects flying over the lunar surface can vary greatly depending on their size and trajectory. For example, spacecraft can travel at speeds of several thousand miles per hour, while smaller meteoroids may travel at much higher speeds.

5. Are there any dangers associated with objects flying over the lunar surface?

Yes, there can be potential dangers associated with objects flying over the lunar surface. If a spacecraft or debris were to collide with a manned mission or equipment on the lunar surface, it could cause damage. Additionally, meteoroids can pose a risk to spacecraft and astronauts traveling to and from the moon.

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