AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers
2006 High School Photo Contest Pictures

2006 AAPT/Lexmark High School Photo Contest
Winner's Showcase

wasilik_big.jpg

ZoomZoom

Special Recognition - Natural Category
Outstanding Physics

Title: The Apollo Moon Landing
Student: Oscar Wasilik
School: Bell High School, Ottawa, ON
Teacher: Diana Hall

There has recently been some controversy about whether or not American astronauts actually landed on the Moon. In the photographs of the mission, one can see the astronauts' shadows being cast in different directions. This apparently proves that multiple studio lights must have been shining on the astronauts, because one distant light source (the Sun) can't possibly result in two shadows cast in different directions, right? Wrong, as this photograph shows. There is only one light source shining on both the grass blade and flower: the Sun. However, their shadows are in completely different directions. This isn't the work of studio lights; this is caused by a difference in incline of the ground. The shadows in the picture diverge from each other because the flower is on a lower incline than the grass blade. The flower is on horizontal ground and so shows the "true" angle of a shadow in the Sun. The grass blade, however, is on a slight incline and so its shadow is cast "higher," making it seem like it's bending upward. This effect is similar to possible shadow-bending on the Moon, where craters are present.


Back    Photo Contest Home    Next