Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Castles in the air, by Hoagland & Bara

        On FB yesterday, James Concannon asked about the "lunar anomalies" that Hoagland & Bara refer to as "The Castle," "The Tower," and "The Shard." All three of them are depicted on this page from the now-defunct Lunar Anomalies web site, once managed by Mike Bara.

        James pointed out that the huge library of images from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has now been assembled into a user-friendly web interface called the ACT-REACT Quick Map. If the latitudes and longitudes of these so-called anomalies could be provided, we could all go see them for ourselves -- IF they actually exist, as opposed to being artifacts of 1960s-era photo processing.

The Castle

        As it so happens, I can help. The "Castle" was taken from a manipulated version of Hasselblad Frame AS10-32-4822 from the Apollo 10 mission. Numerous photographic imperfections are seen on that frame. The crater is Triesnecker, named for Austrian astronomer Franz de Paula Triesnecker, and its coordinates are known: 4.2°N, 3.6°E.

        ACT-REACT has no "search by name" feature, so here's how to find Triesnecker.

1. Ensure that the drop-down menu at center top is set to 'Equidistant Cylindrical Map.'
2. Set the radio buttons top left to 'Navigate.'
3. Set the resolution to 125 m/pix using the pop-up selector at lower left.
4. Enter the latitude & longitude of Triesnecker in the text fields bottom center.
5. Click the 'Recenter' button to the right of the Lon:/Lat: fields.
6. Having centered the display on Triesnecker, use the navigator at left (or drag the image around at will) to search for the Castle.

        LRO has two narrow-angle cameras, resolution 0.5m, and one wide-angle camera, resolution 100m. The entire Moon has been covered by WAC, and this is the image you see in ACT-REACT by default. Swaths outlined in red indicate where NAC imagery is available, and two of them overlay Triesnecker. By zooming in, the difference in resolution is very apparent.

        So did you find the Castle? No, me neither.

The Tower

        This is also derived from an Apollo 10 Hasselblad frame, AS10-32-4856. It comes from the very same monochrome magazine, Mag S. The crater is Blagg, named for astronomer Mary Blagg, and its co-ordinates are 1.3°N, 1.5°E. Some people see Blagg as a breast, with the tiny crater right on Blagg's East rim serving as a nipple. Personally, I've seen better. Craters and breasts.

The Shard

        This one is from the 1967 Lunar Orbiter 3 mission. The camera was capable of a resolution as good as 1m but because of its peculiar photo-processing method, artifacts on Lunar Orbiter images are ubiquitous. Hoagland & Bara spotted the Shard on frame LO-III-84M -- download the 1 megabyte .tiff to get a better look. The crater is Bruce, named for philanthropist Catherine W. Bruce. Coords 1.1°N, 0.4°E. This is very close to Blagg, and it's easy to fit the two craters into one frame.

No Answer

        Hoagland offered no reply to James's query yesterday, unless you count summarily deleting the thread as a reply. Christopher Lopes reposted and that's where things stand over in Facebook-land.


expat said...

In researching for this post, I came across a hilarious rant by Mike Bara which refers to the Shard and the Castle. This is Bara in full ad-hominem hysteria. A gem.

Chris Lopes said...

Interesting link. While most of it sounds very much like inside baseball stuff, it accurately reflects the mind (such as it is) of Mike Bara. My favorite line of the screed is "Obviously the acquisition of large sums of money is not dependant on the possession of a large degree of intellect or integrity.". You owe me a new irony meter for that one Expat. LOL

Biological_Unit said...

It's so vague. What year was that Word Salad "Barant" rant written?

I can't read that sober. His over-confidence would be up there with the Himalaya's and some of the larger Andean peaks.

Anonymous said...

great blog! its nice to see people taking on this idiot RCH and his fellow idiots!

i got so fed up of listening to his crap about hyperdimensional physics i googled and here i am!

keep up the good work!

expat said...

Thanks, anon. Plenty to read here...