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The Face on Mars
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A Hidden Mission for
Part IV. Spectral Vision
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 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 were 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
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
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 which was induced 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
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"
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