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I | II | III | IV | V | VI | Home

A Hidden Mission for Apollo 17?

Part IV. Spectral Vision

 That this part of Taurus-Littrow was an interesting place for Apollo 17 to land goes well without saying even without the anomalies in the material as reviewed so far. This interest continued into the next and last lunar mission, which was the Navy's Clementine. Its UV/VIS and NIR cameras were equipped with 11 different color filters for detecting the color of the moon from the visible to near infrared part of the spectrum. It was sensitive to surface material composition differences and exposure age. The filters were selected  for sampling parts of the spectrum known to contain bandwidths matching iron-bearing, plagioclase feldspar, silicates, and other minerals which are dominant mineral constituents of the lunar crust. By merging information from several filters, multispectral images was created and the data used to map the rock and soil types and their distributions across the Moon.

 Obviously they would have wanted to point it at the Apollo 17 landing site and create a multispectral, because that is what they did.
They didn't exactly hit the landing site with this particular image, but instead got a little south west of it. You can make out half of South Massif on it at top center. This image shows quite an amazing amount of mineralogical diversity in its spectral signature. The high resolution version of this and more multispectral images can be found at the Navy's Clementine Collection.

 The red channel usually represents areas low in titanium, or high in silicates, the green channel is sensitive to the amount of iron present in the surface. The blue channel reflects the surfaces with high titanium or bright slopes and albedo identifications that are not compensated by using the image ratios. Lunar highlands appear as the red shades and they have supposedly accumulated glassy agglutinates through maturation. Also red in the false color image are assumed pyroclastic deposits of naturally high-glass content. The yellow-green area in the east mare is the combined effect of varying mafic mineral concentrations (green) and the glass in the soil coverings produced by maturation (red). The dark blue unit in the western mare (left) is relatively higher in titanium than the mare unit to its far east, or right, which is rich in iron. Note the bright red spot near image center. That is more than likely a dense pyroclastic deposit.

 South massif, being shown by a combination of red and blue, consists of lightly banded pyroclastic deposits relatively high in glass and titanium content, interspersed or superposed with mafic materials evident along a line on it's bottom left ridge. Iron deposits can also be inferred on its northeast summit, as well interspersed or superposed by pockets of silicates and mafic materials. The southeast side is seen to be relatively high in titanium. This image shows that the material in the "slide" on the plain before Nansen is indeed different from that on the surface of South Massif, and as I have proposed; caused by an internal directional pressure release of internal massif material into that area introduced by collapse mechanics. The crater directly below it is also a strange mix with mafic materials along its rim, glass on its sides and iron in the center.

This is Clementine Multispectral image AP172

 This image is very revealing in itself, but still lacks sufficient visible topographic detail to correlate known surface features. To remedy this I matched my AS17 landing site image collection for an appropriate size and aspect fit. This was attained first with image AS17-m-2087, which is a high sun wide angle of the landing site area containing the precise location covered by the Clementine multispectral image above and photographed at about the same angle.

 In the next photo the multispectral Clementine is superposed onto AS12-m-1218, which is a context of this area. In this higher resolution overlay of South Massif it can be seen that the individual mineralogical components in sorts appear to be banded together linearly. The main components here being titanium, high silicate glass, and iron in good concentration lead me to be swayed even further to suspect that this could be an artificial structural artifact. We are looking spectrally at its constructional components, I can envision that a collapsed modern glass and titanium frame structure would have much the same signature; after exploding then being left to waste away for several thousand years in the lunar environment.

Part V. Through the Keyhole

"On a satellite I ride, nothing down below can hide"

Keith Laney Productions™ © 2002-2013

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