Six flags on the moon are the answers to scientists' questions about what happened during the Apollo space missions, and new video of the images has been posted for all to see.
American astronauts planted the flags during their space missions to the moon. The flags were captured on cameras orbiting the moon, surprising scientists here on earth. "Personally, I was a big surprised that the flags survived the harsh ultraviolet light and temperatures of the lunar surface, but they did," professor Mark Robinson wrote on his blog.
Of course, there is not enough detail to see the condition of the flags, but the fact that they are still standing is a bit miraculous. They were planted in the 1960s and 1970s, after astronauts were able to finally land on the moon. The one flag missing, however, is from the very first, and perhaps most famous, lunar landing.
Even though the world watched as Buzz Aldrin planted a United States flag on the moon, that flag did not stay put. It blew over due to a rocket blast from the space shuttle's departure from the moon.
Scientists are not the only one surprised by the flags' lifespan. As Guest posted on NASA's website, "There's as much as a 500 degree temperature swing… How many materials can stand that kind of extreme temperature change for 44 years and not fail?"
"Even on Earth, the colors of a cloth flag flown in bright sunlight for many years will eventually fade and need to be replaced. So it is likely that these symbols of American achievement have been rendered blank, bleached white by the UV radiation of unfiltered sunlight on the lunar surface. Some of them may even have begun to physically disintegrate under the intense flux," wrote geologist Paul Spudis.
Mark Robinson, principal investigator for the LRO Camera, which photographed the images of the flags, posted a video of the flags in a "time series of LROC images taken at different times of day."
Watch the video HERE: