'One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for the Film Director' : Moon - Landing Hoax Theories Revealed

Moon Step
Award winning painting by Dearbhla Mulligan
(St Dominic's High School, Santa Sabina, Dublin)
of the infamous foot-print on the moon. She is
the second prize winner of the National Astronomy
Competition
The Armagh Observatory is hosting a public lecture with guest speaker Dr. Martin A. Hendry of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow.

When and Where:
The lecture, entitled "Did we Really Land on the Moon?", will be held at 8.00 pm on Thursday, 13th May in the Rotunda Theatre, St Patrick's Trian, Armagh.

Speaker Biography:
Dr. Martin A. Hendry currently holds the post of Senior Lecturer in Astronomy in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Glasgow. He is a member of the Astronomy and Astrophysics research group, led by Prof. John Brown (Astronomer Royal for Scotland). He heads a research team working in cosmology which is the branch of astrophysics concerned with the large-scale properties of the Universe as a whole: its origin, evolution and eventual fate.

His main research areas are:
(1) Precise determination of the size and age of the Universe.
(2) Testing theories for the formation and evolution of galaxies.
(3) Exploring new applications of gravitational lensing. His work explores the use of lensing to probe the atmospheres of stars and 'image' their surfaces - revealing e.g. star 'spots' - with further application to detecting extra-solar planets.

Public Talk Summary:
More than 40 years after Apollo 11 there are a surprising number of theories around - in books, documentary programmes and the internet - that Neil Armstrong's famous "One small step" was an elaborate hoax, filmed in secret here on Earth. Conspiracy theorists point to a range of "evidence" to support their claim, including waving flags, strange shadows, no stars in the sky and deadly solar radiation. In this talk, using real Apollo video footage and a series of simple demonstrations, we will take a closer look at the science behind "moon hoax" claims, and ask whether we really did land on the Moon.

Armagh Observatory brief history:
Richard Robinson, Archbishop of Armagh founded the Armagh Observatory in 1789. The observatory was the second to be established in Ireland (the first was Dunsink Observatory near Dublin 1783). The Armagh Observatory is the oldest scientific institution in Northern Ireland. The "New General Catalogue (NGC) of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars" to give it its full name, is one of the most important contributions to science to have come from Armagh Observatory. Even though it was compiled over 100 years ago it remains to this day the principal catalogue of nebulae and galaxies used by astronomers around the world. Meteorological recordings have also been a fundamental area of research at the observatory and versions of Thomas Romney Robinson's "Robinson Cup-Anemometer", invented here and used to measure wind speeds, can be seen all over the world. The Observatory's archives contain meteorological observations going back to 1794; soon after the founding of the Observatory. The meterological recordings, which are continued to this day, represent the longest series of continuous weather records in Ireland. This is a valuable resource for the climatologists and historians of the future.

Further information:
For free tickets to this public lecture and light refreshments afterwards, please contact Mrs Aileen McKee at the Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG. Tel: 028-3752-2928, E-mail: ambnat signarm.ac.uk.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Eamon Scullion at the Armagh Observatory, Tel.: 028-3752-2928; FAX.: 028-3752-7174; e-mail: emsat signarm.ac.uk

Last Revised: 2010 April 28th