1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    In Google Earth , at 22°42'38.46"N 142°34'44.52"E on the Moon, we see this strange image:
    [​IMG]

    Now in isolation this looks a little suspicious,. Seven dots forming a perfect V shape. But look around at the surrounding area, look at all the vertical and horizontal areas. Notice how they all line up in a grid.

    What we are seeing here are individual pixels from a low resolution image, which have been greatly enlarged and filtered in a way that gives this grid-like effect. All it took was a few pixels in the right place to give this effect.

    But it's a little more complex than that. These pixels don't even appear in the original image.

    Look at the image closer to its original resolution by zooming out:

    [​IMG]

    If we use an unfiltered zoom on this, we see this:
    [​IMG]
    Notice the seven dots are not there.

    But, if we zoom in a little more on Google Earth, we see:
    [​IMG]

    Note you can now see the dots. If you zoom in on that, you see:
    [​IMG]

    Why can we suddenly see these dots when the zoom has changed slightly? Not only that, but a whole bunch of other dots has suddenly appeared scattered all over the image.

    The answer is that Google stores multiple resolution image tiles, and uses a different set of tiles depend on how much you are zoomed in. Here it is just switching from one set to another. While both set of a tiles are derived from the same image, the higher resolution tiles (used when more zoomed in) have some filters applied to them, to make them seem sharper. Unfortunately it seems these sharpening filters have created some noise along the boundaries between light and dark regions, and that is what has created these dots.

    Why is it a perfect triangle? Just luck. There are tens of thousands of craters on the moon, and only a few possible configurations of dots around the edge at this resolution. Some of them are bound to have a more geometric shape than others.

    Look at these nearby craters, where we are not zoomed in enough to see the artifacts:
    [​IMG]

    Then zoom in slightly:
    [​IMG]

    Notice the dots suddenly appearing inside all the craters? That's the exact same thing. Notice a few of them are in lines. It's just random. If you look around for a while, you can probably find some even more interesting examples. But it's just a few random pixels from a poor choice of image sharpening algorithm.

    The bad pixels also appear to be transparent. What we are looking at here is a photo overlay. Photo overlays are not affected by the lighting system that Google Earth uses to simulate sunlight. However the surface of the moon IS illuminated. It's done incorrectly on a 24 hour cycle, basically because they just re-use the lighting system for Earth. It's not really a solar-system simulator.

    Here you can see the illuminated surface of the moon through the partially transparent corrupt pixels as the time is altered in Google Earth (note you have to turn on the "Show Sunlight" option to get this slider).
    [​IMG]

    In the animation below, the triangle is in the lower left, and I've tilted the view so you can see a large area of lunar surface in the background. Also notice all the other dots doing the same thing.
    [​IMG]

    We can prove it's transparent, and not actually lighting the pixels by adding a polygon underneath the image overlay:

    [​IMG]

    Then when you zoom in, you get:
    [​IMG]

    This highlighting of the pixels makes them much easier to see, so we can look for other interesting accidental patterns. Here's a face, at 21.764747,143.748972
    [​IMG]

    The original image overlay comes from the Japanese SELENE "Kaguya" satellite

    http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/multimedia/display.cfm?Category=Planets&IM_ID=15543
    [​IMG]
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You might also be interested in a similar debunking of an image artifact on Mars:
    https://www.metabunk.org/threads/debunked-alien-base-on-mars-bio-station-alpha.166/
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
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  2. TiffSmith

    TiffSmith New Member

    You can see in this picture that the small crater slightly above it in the image also has a similar (albeit less pronounced) pattern caused by the image processing as well.

    [​IMG]
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  3. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

  4. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
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  5. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

    Yeah-but in the Above Top Secret forum the comparison convinces people the lights are a ship because they have flown away in the picture on the right. It's Scott Waring (http://www.ufosightingsdaily.com/) level reasoning.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014
  6. ThatGuyZach

    ThatGuyZach New Member

    "Here's a face, at 21.764747,143.748972"

    So the aliens know how to use Adobe Flash. We're doomed!

    In all seriousness though, you know you are losing it when a few, blurred pixels cause you to scream "Aliens!"
  7. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I'd not say "losing it". A lot of people just really really want there to be aliens. So it's kind of a strong interpretation bias. Rock falls off the wheel of the rover? Aliens! Unidentified object? Aliens! Because aliens are fun and cool.
  8. ThatGuyZach

    ThatGuyZach New Member

    Yeah, at the end of the day, you do have to admit that some of these theories are just too awesome to be true. I'm a pessimist, so I guess that explains my knack for skepticism.

    Also, sorry if my post was a bit brash. I'm kind of new...
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  9. Nova

    Nova New Member

    Why these spots are blinking at a frequency of every 12 hour if length of a day at moon is equivalent to 29 earth days ? There are many spots blinking at the same time Check it out on google earth by changing time.
  10. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    It's because the dots are transparent, and you are seeing the moon surface underneath the satellite image overlay.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The time/sun animation is for the earth, and is being incorrectly applied to the moon in Google Earth. You can see this if you zoom out
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
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  11. Astro

    Astro New Member

    Nicely done, Mick! To add to this debunking, here is a png file of the original Selene image data for that region which was used to create the texture for that region in Google moon. I exported the original .img file (which is an actual image file, not a disc image, and requires special software to view) into a more standard .png file using default settings (different tonal settings will yield different contrasts in exported images):
    http://dropcanvas.com/bv99x

    https://www.metabunk.org/files/DTMTCO_03_01221N230E1428SC_TCO.png

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, there's nothing in the crater, it's entirely an artifact of Google moon as you correctly pointed out. Here's an overlay of a crop of the original image exported from LISM viewer onto a screen capture of Google moon:
    https://www.metabunk.org/sk/b1z.gif
    The “perspective” shifts because google moon is projecting the image onto a 3d model of the terrain and rendering it, using the image as a texture, but you can see by the identical shadows in the craters that it is in fact the same image data.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2014
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  12. Skaredstiff

    Skaredstiff New Member

    Scott Warring is a [...] I used to go to that site for entertainment only, but it got to the point that his bunk was making me physically sick. He [...] really does a disservice to any real UFO believer, even though there is very little, if any, hard evidence of UFO and ET's. Please do not give him the pleasure of visiting his site because of this he relishes every hit and possibly makes money.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2014
  13. GeeJay

    GeeJay New Member

    This was an excellent and most convincing analysis, Mike.
    I am a skeptic regarding UFOs but am even more reluctant to believe that if that was a real UFO we'd be told the truth either by NASA or the government.
    And am also convinced that there would be an even more ardent effort to "scientificly debunk" a real sighting...
  14. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The thing about science though is that any fake scientific debunking is generally detectable.

    I look at claims of evidence. I try to figure out if they are valid claims, or bunk claims. If they seem like bunk, then I explain this. That's debunking.
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