Solved: "Double Moon", Dubai, UAE. [Projection]

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
2021-02-08_07-59-30.jpg
[Update Feb 8 - This was a large projection, to celebrate the UAE's mission to Mars]


Original thread follows
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There are several photos and a video of a "double moon" from the UAE, which show variations of these shapes:

2021-02-07_09-30-45.jpg

There are multiple shots of people filming the shapes, which would support the notion that it was really there. But it's all a little odd, with lots of these type of shots, but no actual high-resolution shots of the object itself, despite it seeming to be several times larger than the moon.

In addition, it's hard to track down the primary source here, just a bunch of tabloid style sites so far. One of which had these two photos:

doublemoondubai_0.jpg

doublemoonuae_0.jpg

Two objects in the two photos have curious similarities, in particular there is surface detail that at first just looks like noise, but actually shows up in both images.

2021-02-07_09-42-17.jpg

Almost looks like writing, with the lower part resembling two question marks, like ?? of maybe PP
2021-02-07_09-46-08.jpg

While this might be an object with writing on it, I think image compositing seems more likely.

There's really two possibilities here:

1 - A hoax
2 - Something local, in the sky

An actual double moon is obviously ludicrous as it would be constantly and obviously visible to everyone on Earth.

Given the rather dubious sources, and the visible surface detail, I think some kind of hoax is most likely.
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
they aren't even moon shaped. they look like two potatoes.
Esquire ME speculate it might be a marketing campaign related to the UAE mission to Mars.

Article:
There is one planet in our solar system that does have two moons, however. And in a few days time, the UAE's Hope Probe is destined to arrive in the red planet's orbit.
Could it have something to do with that? Stay tuned for more.


And they are somewhat Martian moon shaped.
Two separate images of Deimos (left) and Phobos (right) captured by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-caltech/University of Arizona
Image source: https://www.skyatnightmagazine.com/space-science/the-moons-of-mars/
 

Mahmoud Ghazayel

New Member
Although Etisalat buildings have a sphere on the top, the videos being shared shows those two objects waaay higher than normal Etisalat buildings.

While trying to just locate where the videos have been taken, this sign in the back Is definitely the "Last Exit" food truck area in Al Qudra desert in Dubai.

Screenshot 2021-02-07 232119.png

Here : https://goo.gl/maps/LpyBW3R4s65iCras6
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
this sign in the back Is definitely the "Last Exit" food truck area in Al Qudra desert in Dubai.

I think this is the same exit, although the guard rail is new.
2021-02-07_11-28-16.jpg


So they seem to be looking about SSW, or SW.

Edit: actually more like East....
2021-02-07_11-42-24.jpg
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
are thees blobs supposed to be the moons?
1612730311661.png

theres a blur smudge above them but it doesnt look like moons. and if the top blur is the moons then what are the blobs my arrows are pointing to? there is nothing else in the sky area there.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
also.. when were these pics taken. the driver girl puts on a snow hat and fleece coat while outside. but my googling says its like 60 degrees overnight in dubai. is my google wrong?

(speculative aside: i also think all 3 of these guys is the same guy based on his nape scruff/matching phone apps. :)

3guys.png
 

DavidB66

Senior Member
If there really were two large unidentified objects floating over Dubai, one might expect it to be front page news in local media, if only to dismiss it as a publicity stunt, advertising balloons, etc. I looked at three online sources for Dubai news - the Kahleej Times, Gulf News, and UAE News - and didn't see anything relevant. But these were only the current editions, so maybe there was something a few days ago when the news was fresh. Of course, if Deirdre is right in speculating that the 3 guys in the photos are in fact the same guy wearing different clothes - and I agree the matching hairlines seen from behind are highly suspicious - then it is almost certainly a hoax, as the change of clothes suggests deliberate intent to deceive the viewer.
 

captancourgette

Active Member
also.. when were these pics taken. the driver girl puts on a snow hat and fleece coat while outside. but my googling says its like 60 degrees overnight in dubai. is my google wrong?
Last time I was in UAE it reached 47 degrees with 75 percent humidity (thats 116.7 for USA & Liberian readers)
note to self : never go again in the middle of summer

The left potato looks like it has a shadow cast on it.
The left potato is sometime higher than the one on the right, thus they are not something relatively stationary
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
, one might expect it to be front page news in local media,
and more people talking about it. if you rotate around micks google photo find, it seems like a cool little area. (unless it's all shut down for covid? i guess that is possible)
 

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
There is a tall structure in the video at 0:49. There is no similar structures in the vicinity of Al Qudra Last Exit, and Burj Khalifa is 24 miles away from this spot to look that tall.
As Mick pointed below, my 'tall structure' was probably a road sign. Still working on my guess below.

I guess the video was made with the help of some 'augmented reality' app on the smartphones used in several random places around Dubai or elsewhere.
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
There is a tall structure in the video at 0:49. There is no similar structures in the vicinity of Al Qudra Last Exit, and Burj Khalifa is 24 miles away from this spot to look that tall.

Tall structure? You sure you're not looking at a road sign?
2021-02-07_14-10-50.jpg
 

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
Tall structure? You sure you're not looking at a road sign?
2021-02-07_14-10-50.jpg
Agree. I think this location is in the same area (red star) as the first established location (yellow circle) and the viewing direction is also the same (East).
two locations.png

And the location in the beginning of the video probably is also nearby (orange arrow)
Zero location.png

If these locations are confirmed, the remaining ones are likely nearby too. This would make the 'double moon' very local and being not very high in the sky.
 
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JMartJr

Senior Member
Esquire ME speculate it might be a marketing campaign related to the UAE mission to Mars.
Having a couple of big moons-of-Mars balloons in the sky as part of the festivities when the probe arrives sounds pretty much like what Dubai.UAE would do -- I'm guessing it was a "test flight" for that. I have asked some friends in UAE to keep an ear to the ground, and I guess we'll know shortly when the probe gets there and that is celebrated.
 

Easy Muffin

Senior Member
In the second video in the compilation, about 20 seconds in, there is a very bright object that can be seen intermittently as it pops in and out of view from behind the upper window frame. If that is a celestial body and not simply a reflection or a plane or something else that's local, then one would expect to see this also in the other videos, right? However, it's not there.

flip.gif

See what I mean? (excuse the GIF potato quality)
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
In several shots in the video, with the brightness boosted, there's a visible vertical line to the left of the blobs, and what looks like a beam of light coming from the lower left, similar to how you might expect a projector to look.

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2021-02-08_07-40-27.jpg

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But if you look in that last image, the spreading beam kind of looks like car headlights
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member


Article:
The two Martian moons were a part of a campaign organised by the UAE Government Media Office to celebrate the Hope Probe.

Phobos and Deimos, the two moons orbiting Mars, were projected in the sky using a new technology that has never been seen before in the UAE.

Two giant 100-metre cranes and an advanced 40-metre screen were used to make the moons appear realistically in the sky and visible from long distances.
 

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
Edited to annotate all locations (1 to 6 in rainbow colours):

I have found locations of all clips in the video. They all are in the same general area below with the Double Moon being most likely in the magenta oval spot. The numbers indicate the car positions on the roads (it took a wrong turn in '3'), the arrows show approximate directions to the 'Double Moon'.
Double moon location (annotated).png

The clips' timestamps are: 1) 0:00 to 0:15; 2) 0:16 to 0:26; 3) 0:27 to 0:48; 4) 0:49 to 0:55; 5) 0:56 to 1:13; 6) 1:14-1:27. The clips apparently are not arranged in the order of travel between the locations.
 
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Mahmoud Ghazayel

New Member

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Trailspotter

Senior Member.
now i want to know what the deal with these two hearts is :)

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This is a land development in progress. Future lakes and tree plantations. Google Earth Time Machine shows bigger hearts earthmarked in 2017 and smaller dark hearts dug up near the end of 2019.
 

AmberRobot

Active Member


Article:
The two Martian moons were a part of a campaign organised by the UAE Government Media Office to celebrate the Hope Probe.

Phobos and Deimos, the two moons orbiting Mars, were projected in the sky using a new technology that has never been seen before in the UAE.

Two giant 100-metre cranes and an advanced 40-metre screen were used to make the moons appear realistically in the sky and visible from long distances.

that is not how they would look in the Martian sky though. Using the numbers from Wikipedia for sizes and orbital parameters, I get that Phobos would be about 13 arcminutes and Deimos would be about 2 arcminutes. (Keep in mind that our Moon is about 30 arcminutes in diameter). I did this quickly so someone could double check my numbers.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
that is not how they would look in the Martian sky though. Using the numbers from Wikipedia for sizes and orbital parameters, I get that Phobos would be about 13 arcminutes and Deimos would be about 2 arcminutes. (Keep in mind that our Moon is about 30 arcminutes in diameter). I did this quickly so someone could double check my numbers.
I'm pretty sure accuracy wasn't the goal there :)
 

Easy Muffin

Senior Member
With the recordings viewed side by side it also becomes apparent that the shapes change with the different POV's, similar to how images on a flat screen become distorted when looked at from an oblique angle.

shapes.jpg

Top is video 1, bottom is video 5. The objects are more elongated in #1 as it was taken from a spot off to the side whilst the installation is pretty much dead ahead in #5.
 

DavidB66

Senior Member
There is a very similar account in the Gulf News:
https://gulfnews.com/uae/science/hope-probe-why-two-moons-recently-appeared-in-dubai-1.77049516

I don't think much journalistic acumen has been applied to the subject. The Gulf News and Khaleej Times are just repeating an official account. According to the Wikipedia article on United Arab Emirates, the media there are subject to various controls, including possible prison sentences for those who "deride or damage" the reputation of the state. So we should probably not expect much in the way of comment or criticism, e.g. of the risk of causing public alarm, in Dubai or elsewhere. It may not have occurred to the authorities that anyone would be daft enough to suppose that the 'two moons' were actually real.

It is still not clear from the press reports (to me, anyway) whether the 'viral videos' were part of the publicity stunt, or if they were genuinely filmed by members of the public.
 

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
A new video features amongst other things the installation of the giant screen in Al Qudra. It confirms its deduced location. The screenshot below shows the the surrounding area from a POV behind the screen with annotated locations from which the individual clips have been filmed:View from Double Moon location.png
 
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