An image snapped by NASA’s Apollo 17 astronauts has created controversy among ufologists. According to claims, the image cataloged as AS17-135-20680HR shows what many believe is a Pyramid on the lunar surface.
But… Long story short?
No, they did not, but the image is evidence of how easily we can be tricked into seeing things that aren’t really there, or how our mind identified familiar patterns.
The alleged Pyramid on the moon.
There are pyramids all over the planet. For a reason, we are yet to find out, ancient civilizations, spread across Earth, and isolated from one another, built massive pyramid structures thousands of years ago.
Some say these ancient monuments were built as tombs, others say they were erected to pay tribute to the gods. But the real reason why there are thousands of pyramids on Earth remains a mystery.
And while pyramids on Earth remain a hotly debated subject, finding pyramids on another planet or moon goes beyond reason, venturing out into what many call a massive conspiracy.
Thanks to the various space programs, we have explored our neighboring planets and moons like never before.
But it all started with NASA’s Apollo missions.
Liftoff of Apollo 11, the first mission to land humans on the Moon, July 16, 1969. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
The Apollo Program was a manned space program developed by the United States in the 1960s in the framework of the space race with the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
The project began in July 1960, when the US space agency NASA announced it, as a continuation of the Mercury missions. Apollo ran from 1961 to 1972, with the first manned flight in 1968.
The Apollo 17 mission, which lasted from December 7-19 marked the end of manned lunar exploration. The mission was characterized by being the only Saturn V night launch. The crew landed in Taurus-Littrow, and it was the final manned Moon landing. Surface EVA time: 22:02 hours, after which astronauts returned 110.40 kg of samples back to Earth.
However, the Apollo 17 mission was also marked by another peculiar occurrence.
While digging through some of the images made available to the public, UFO hunters came across an image cataloged as AS17-135-20680HR.
This image at first glance might not draw your attention, but upon closer examination, you will notice a triangle shaped object hiding in the background, which has led UFOlogists and UFO hunters to ask, what exactly did the Apollo 17 mission photograph on the moon? Is this image the result of a camera malfunction, Parts of the Rover? Or is there perhaps, a structure on the moon?
We decided to investigate a bit more and examined the image further and as we played around with the contrast and brightness of the image we managed to get some pretty nice results that helped us see this object in a better way. And despite the fact that after cleaning the image up a bit we do get a ‘pyramid-shaped structure,’ the truth is that it’s not really a pyramid, and there a couple reasons as to why.
First of all, you can check out the sheer amount of images and videos from the Apollo 17 mission by checking out this link: https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a17/images17.html#MagG. We are interested in the following material:
From there, you can check out the images and videos taken by the astronauts during their 22:02 hour EVA.
The image in question: AS17-135-20680HR. The result? A blurry image with a strange shape in the middle. Pyramid you say? I beg to differ.
Notice the Pyramid/triangle shaped object at the center of the image.
Let’s check out some other images taken before it.
Let’s begin with image AS17-135-20674 (OF300) (151k or 1343k). NASA describes the image: “LRV traverse from the SEP site to Station 2. This photo shows the trough that runs along the base of the South Massif. The Station 2 boulders are the two large ones at the right edge of the picture. The big crater mentioned in the dialog is at the left, farther up the slope.” Note: LRV stands for Lunar Roving Vehicle.
Part of the LVR. Image credit: NASA
If we take a look at the images snapped later, we see the following:
Seen here is the LVR. Image Credit: NASA
The next image, AS17-135-20679 (OF300) ( 100k or 1275k ) are described as Station 2, LRV Floor. Sunstruck, but the Astronaut who took the picture did not get the exposure right, which resulted in a blurry image.
Image Credit: NASA.
Image Credit: NASA.
The next image, AS17-136-20681was blank.
Image Credit: NASA
Verdict? The curious pyramid-like shape we see in the image is, in fact, the result of low-quality images snapped by astronauts. Position, light, and angle, all played an important role in obtaining a curious image that some have interpreted as a Pyramid on the moon when actually the only thing the astronauts snapped was the LVR under peculiar light conditions.
Note that Images labeled “OF300” are from the original film and are presented at the equivalent of 300 DPI on a 7.5-inch by 7.5-inch reproduction.
So, while there may certainly be peculiar things on the moon, structures that we may not be able to explain, these images snapped by Apollo 17 astronauts are not one of them.
Featured image credit: Artist’s illustration of a Pyramid on the Moon.