Friday, October 05, 2012

40m Tall Metallic Object in Triangular Depression on the Moon

A peculiar depression in the shape of triangle is investigated using Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera images, particularly Narrow Angle Camera data. A highly reflective object casting a long shadow is identified. Finally, the height of this object is calculated to best possible accuracy using all available data. The object is found be about 40.8 meters tall.

General Location : Farside, North
Major Crater in Vicinity: Coulomb
Exact coordinate of the object: Latitude: 57.534 degrees, Longitude: -112.752 degrees

Large Scale Visuals

Triangular Depression in Green Rectangle, Green Dot Approximate Location of Object



Triangular Depression in Green Rectangle, Green Dot Approximate Location of Object

NAC M176000985LE Coverage Strip
On the right is the image showing the coverage of narrow angle camera strip where highly-reflective tower or antenna-like object was found. If you click on the NAC link in the caption, you will notice the image is mirrored. The image must be horizontally flipped to match the correct perspective. The tower/antenna-like object is located about 1500m SE of the crater in middle of the triangle.

Next image is the close up of the NAC image strip containing the object. The image has been horizontally flipped to correct the mirrored perspective. The tower/antenna-like object and its shadow are labelled, along with other relevant information.


Close-up Image Showing Highly Reflective Structure Casting 230m Long Shadow

HIGH-DEF VERSION OF IMAGE CAN BE FOUND HERE



The resolution of image is 0.873m per pixel.
The length of the object's shadow is 263 pixels.

The formula for calculating Height from Shadow Length is:

Height = Shadow_Length * Tan(Solar_Altitude + Slope)

Variable of Slope in above formula accounts for longer/shorter shadow that will be cast if the object was sitting on a negative/positive slope. That is, object sitting on downhill slope will cast longer shadow than object sitting on level ground.

So..

Shadow_Length = 263 pixels * 0.873m/pixel = 229.6 meters
Solar_Altitude = 90 degrees - Incidence_angle = 17.65 degrees
Slope = 80m / 600m * 100% = 13.3% = -7.58 degrees (negative since downhill slope)

How Slope was Calculated

Finally...

 Height = 229.6m * Tan(17.65 - 7.58)
 Height = 229.6m * 0.1776

 Height = 40.777 meters


Length and Width of the object are measured to be about 6.4m by 8.5m. It's extremely unlikely that a naturally formed single 40m tall and straight pencil-shaped boulder of recent origin would be found on a hillside, stuck exactly perpendicular to the sky, in a basin aged to be around 3.5 billions years old. The alternative explanation from artificial origin theory argues that the object is so unlikely to have naturally formed that it may more likely be an artificial construct. Its function is not clear to us but we might build such object to function as communications antenna or navigational beacon.

Closeup of Object


The other semi-interesting point is that this object is sitting on a spot that is exactly zero elevation on the moon. Not sure what significance this would have but interesting nonetheless.

-End

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