The big story yesterday is about a UFO captured hovering over the surface of the moon. It was captured by YouTube user and skywatcher Crrow777. Theories have ranged from aliens to a camera glitch. You can see one analysis of the video here. Immediately I noticed the shape seemed to become distorted while passing over different topographic features on the moon’s surface.
Another object maybe a satellite, or a meteorite could be causing the shadow. I slowed the video down and cut out a small section:
Ignore the creepy slow voice. Didn’t have time to remove the audio track. You can see that the object changes shape with the topography of the moon. Watch carefully as it crosses craters. This matches what we would expect to see from a shadow.
Now of course I know what the next logical argument is it is the shadow of a UFO. And since the source of the shadow remains unidentified I can’t argue with that but since we are only looking at the shadow of an object and not the object itself, identification is difficult.
Camera Glitch or Dead Pixels: Since the object does not remain in the same spot on the camera it is not a camera glitch or dead pixels.
Silhouetting: Ben Hansen talks about the object looking silhouetted because the moon reflects light back on the object. You can read the Huff post article here. However, a silhouetted object would not change shape in correlation with the topography of the moon as the video shows. Second if it is an object flying very close to the lunar surface we should see a shadow. This shadow should elongate substantially as the object approaches the dark side of the moon. This indicator isn’t present in the video.
Wrong Speed: MUFON analyst Marc Dantonio measured the speed of the object and claimed it was too fast to be a satellite. Well the shadow of a satellite far above the moon would appear to move much faster than the satellite itself because of the relationship with the light source (sun). We are dealing with multiple moving objects and using the shadow to calculate speed. That is a difficult proposition.
Too Far for Shadow: Some claim that any satellite would be too far from the moon to produce a shadow of this size. Without having any way to model shadows I have no way to test this. But all indications point to a shadow from some object flying nearby. I’m not an expert in satellites but I tend to agree that a satellite seems unlikely. They can be big but not gigantic and they would have to fly in pretty close proximity to the moon to produce a shadow of that size.
Compression Artifacts: I haven’t seen this explanation yet but I can imagine it coming, so this is preemptive. If it was a solid object that was made to look like a shadow due to compression artifacts these artifacts would appear random and would not correlate with obvious changes in the moon’s topography.
An Object on the Lens: Another argument is this is something on the lens of the telescope and the moon is moving behind the object. This would be plausible if thee object didn’t seem to change shape with the terrain as a shadow would.