The rainbow of colors of the moon's surface
Yellowish, brownish or gray as NASA insists.
In this article we will look at the color of the moon. We will use only official NASA images and newspaper reports from the days when Apollo 11 first landed a man on the moon (or so they say). In the end it is up to you what you make of the information, but this investigation into Apollo 11 photo magazine 37 may make you wonder.
If you search the web for official NASA Apollo 11 images you will quickly end up at the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal (ALSJ) and the Lunar Planetary Institute (LPI). On the LPI website you will read “The research carried out at the LPI supports the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) efforts to explore the solar system.” The ALSJ is a historical archive that runs on the nasa.gov website.
Here is the version of Apollo 11 magazine 37 on the LPI website. The ALSJ version of the same images can be found at this link, (you will have to open the images one by one). However, around the beginning of this century the ALSJ had a different version of magazine 37 on display on their website. AwE130 has a copy of this version in our Apollo 11 Photographs archive. We are going to use images from these three archives for this article. You can use the links to check them yourselves.
The voice recording script.
The voice record of Apollo 11 reveals at 110:23:32 Aldrin: The blue color of my boots has completely disappeared now into this…Still don’t know exactly what color to describe this other than (a) grayish-cocoa color. It seems to be covering most of the lighter part of the boot (garbled) color that (garbled) very fine particles. (Garbled)****.
During an interview with Patrick Moore in 1970 Neil Armstrong mentions a brownish color (2:26 in this video).
Lets have a look at some of the Apollo 11 magazine 37 images. Below we compare image AS11-37-5517 from the three different versions. The first image is the LPI version, the second image is the old cached ALSJ version now stored in the AwE130 archives and the third image is the ALSJ version as shown today on the NASA website. Buzz called the moon’s surface grayish cocoa and Neil Armstrong described the moon as brownish. The ALSJ version shown today (image 3) does not match the color description by Buzz Aldrin or Neil Armstrong. The first image shown by the LPI seems too yellowish. The old ALSJ version stored in the AwE130 archives (in the middle) seems to match the description of the astronauts best. Why was this version erased from the ALSJ and why was it replaced by the third image that shows no color at all?
Below you can see image AS11-37-5538 and here we see the same color variations as in image 5517. NASA, are you confused about the color of the moon's surface? We credit NASA for all three versions of magazine 37. Can anyone tell us which is the correct version and what is the real color? We are quite sure that it is not the ALSJ version currently on display on the NASA website. In the end you are the judge in a journey towards the truth for all mankind.
Links to used information:
* LPI magazine 37: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/resources/apollo/catalog/70mm/magazine/?37
** ALSJ magazine37: https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/images11.html#Mag37
*** Cached ALSJ version 2003 of magazine 37.