It’s been 50 years since the first moon landing. And while the groundbreaking event is considered to be one of the most monumental moments in history, it’s also nearly synonymous as the conspiracy theories that surround it.
It’s the “anniversary” of the “moon landing”— Claire Mason Jar (@KGBclaire) July 17, 2019
On the 20 July 1969, the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle landed on the moon. About 650 million people watched as American astronaut commander Neil Armstrong was the first to step foot on it. The historic moment captured the imaginations of many, including those who suspected the phenomenon was all a hoax, staged in a film studio.
to commemorate the 50th anniversary of man landing on the moon, here's a picture of a 72 year old Buzz Aldrin punching a "moon landing is a hoax" asshole in the face pic.twitter.com/6Vr6t2v9eE— 🐔🍞🍳 👞 cade cothren’s spam folder 🎻 (@AndyAxel) July 12, 2019
Here are a number of moon landing conspiracy theories and questions that have floated around for the past 50 years.
If the moon landing was a hoax as some claim, then it was the most stupendously extensive and huge deception and literally hundreds of scientists and technicians would have to have been sworn to secrecy. #thedrum— Man of Ritz (@NEWSTWISTED) July 16, 2019
The absence of stars in the galaxy sky
Some claim that the most incriminating evidence that the moon landing was a hoax is that there are no stars in any photos taken by the Apollo crew.
The reason why this isn’t a plausible theory relates to how cameras capture light. The moon’s surface reflects sunlight so the glare would have made the stars challenging to see. Since the photographers were focused on snapping the astronauts executing this important moment, using a fast exposure setting, it would have limited the background light from the stars.
"They were taking pictures at 1/150th or 1/250th of a second," Astronomer Phil Plait told National Geographic. "In that amount of time, stars just don't show up."
Fluttering flag despite lack of wind
Some sceptics question the iconic moment in the first moon landing when Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin erected the American flag into its surface. The flag in the photo appears to be fluttering in the wind, despite there being no air on the moon.
While the flag looks like it is flapping about, it wasn’t moving at all. When the astronauts stuck the pole in the ground, they rotated it back and forth, causing the flag to ripple. Then it stayed in that shape.
Footprints on the moon?
Some people wonder about how the astronauts’ footprints would last on the moon, despite there being no human activity on it since the 70s. One scientist explains that the moon is “geologically dead”, in that it lacks atmosphere.
Unlike the earth, the moon doesn’t experience weathering and erosion from elements like wind or water. So a footprint will remain intact for decades because there’s nothing like earthquakes, volcanoes, wind or rain to wipe it out.