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Google Moon reveals a strange object

by Mike Weaver

January 28, 2014

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It is a popular pastime of many to scan through image archives looking for proof of aliens or other such items. NASA images and Google Earth and Moon are popular targets for anomaly hunting. A recent article in the Houston Chronicle details one such anomaly.

The image, above, is taken from the Google Earth application in "Moon" mode. The object can be found at these coordinates: 22.710683, 142.579033. Unhappily, the web-based version of the map does not have the same resolution of the area.

Here is an expanded view showing the region:

From the Houston Chronicle article:

The wedge-shaped object, which has seven circular points evenly arranged in a right angle, doesn't look like anything that would naturally appear on the lunar surface, observers say.

I do like how they report what others say, not what they say.

The Daily Mail has their take on it here. From the Daily Mail article:

According to website Tech and Gadget News: 'The gigantic shape actually looks like the leading edge of an immense, triangular space ship, similar to, so far, super secret stealth aircraft technology, but is much larger than any airplane ever built on Earth.

Ah, I see. It's a gigantic stealth ship or base, according to another web site.

Of interest to me is that the area on the Google Earth app is very high resolution compared to the surrounding area. You can see that the site is also known as Mare Moscoviense, which is on the far side of the moon from us. The image, I believe, is from the SELENE mission, also known as the Kaguya mission. Here is a virtual flyover video assembled by NASA from the Kaguya mission. This is a beautiful area of the moon, hidden from us until we could send spacecraft to it.

A bit of internet diving reveals that, despite the recent dates on the articles above, this is not a new anomaly. There are youtube videos and fringe website articles calling out the anomaly as far back as 2011 or earlier.

While this could be an actual object, perhaps minerals reflecting light just right or even a piece of debris from one of the many spacecraft we've sent around the moon, I tend to see a photographic anomaly. Right angles, effectively squares or rectangles, are the shapes one most often sees when a digital camera CCD chip has an error or gets hit by stray particles or radiation. Edit: After some nudging, I dug a bit deeper, this appears to be a classic example of sharpening artifact. Take a look at this tutorial for some more information on oversharpening.

So, what do you think it is?

Be well.

by Mike Weaver

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