Armap and Waveguide3, thank you both very much for bringing some much needed clarity to this argument.
In general, I tend to agree with you both, on every point made.
(This may surprise some, as it may have seemed like I was taking the 'it's for certain an alien spaceship' side of this issue. A closer look will
reveal that I was merely arguing against the 'debunking' of the original poster.)
Here are the points I find to be the most persuasive:
"On the STS-75 video, those things may be debris from the tether that did not move away from the shuttle, and those debris are not dangerous to
the shuttle because they have the same speed (both in value and direction), so they behave like they are stationary."
Exactly, and boy did I try really hard to steer the the original poster to this point. IF these 'objects' are debris from the tether snap, (and
it's highly possible that they are) then any debris remaining with the shuttle after the snapped tether has drifted would be moving at a velocity
relative to the shuttle itself, eliminating the danger of a high velocity collision and hull penetration.
However, IF as the original poster postulated, this is just 'debris' for example space junk, we're talking about a high velocity hull piercing
collision, even if the 'debris' is approximately 1cm in diameter.
I'm truly astounded that the poster couldn't grasp this, even after Leviatano politely linked your (much better) analysis of this footage.
Incidentally, 'videod' is a word that is spoken, but I'm not sure how to spell it!
Armap went on to say:
"But my video, the video from the OP and all the other videos we can find that may look like this can not really prove that those things on the
STS-75 video were debris or ice crystals, they show only that they could have been debris or ice crystals, but the only way of us knowing what they
really were was to have one captured and analysed."
With which I agree for the most part. There are still some determining factors that could rule out the 'debris' or 'ice crystal' theories, the
primary factor being the apparent change in direction of several of these 'objects'. One appears to make a right angle turn, and one appears to
circle the tether.
Now, to my eye, IF we are looking at debris or ice crystals (the astronaut in the clip thinks it's debris) then it is close to the camera, very in
fact. So close that should this apparent change in direction be caused by collision with other debris, we should see it. In fact, this brings me to
another point I found persuasive, this one from Waveguide3:
"The spontaneous appearance of some of these particles is probably the result of shadowing from the Shuttle. Anything in space shadow is totally
Completely true, and it helps to illustrate that if we can see one object (regardless of whether or not it is close or far from the camera, and
regardless of whether or not it's debris, ice crystals, or alien spaceships) than we should be able to see the impacting object(s) also. The object
that changes direction to apparently 'circle' the tether, is in light and out of space shadow during it's entire circuit. We should see not just
one, but 3 impacting objects, if that particular theory were to stand scrutiny (it appears to change direction 3 times).
There is a VERY SMALL chance (like a snowball in hell) that this object was impacted by 3 objects that were so thin that they did not reflect light
from the side facing the camera. I'll allow for the slight possibility, but we're talking about odds here that are so astronomical that the math
isn't even worth doing.
Waveguide3, I personally like your theory here:
"The directional changes seen could be explained by the influence of the Shuttle's thrusters, which are firing off almost constantly."
However, this would not explain the object that appears to change direction 3 times, in 3 different directions. But I like the way you're thinking,
and we may well now be headed down the proper track.
I suppose it IS possible that the camera is facing directly behind the shuttle, and the thrusters are pushing the objects in a sort of 'whirlwind
pattern', but if that were the case we should expect to see many more of these objects changing direction, and in the same general fashion, all at
once. (Not uniform, but generally in the same pattern, as they would all be affected by the same thruster, or in Newton's terms, 'external
Also, if this particular object were (another theory I've heard) in fact 4 different objects, each travelling in a straight line and giving the
illusion of being one circling object, then we should expect to see at least 2 of these 'straight line travelling' objects emerge from the circuit,
as it can't be masked in space shadow on every side of the tether at once.
One thing that does strike me as both factual and obvious to the trained eye, is this point by Waveguide3:
"Their central 'hole' and notched edge is merely due to lens construction. I suspect this camera used a mirror lens, much like the Schmidt-
As an owner/operator of a Schmidt-Cassegrain Scope, I can say with certainty that there is a striking similarity. Any object in the sky (mostly stars
because the scope can't resolve on them anyway) will look like this with the right focusing. It does indicate to me that these objects are points of
light (especially when combined with the fact that we're watching footage from a UV camera) that the camera can't resolve. This to my eye, also
suggests that the 'objects' are far from the lens, although it is possible that they are close to the lens, and the camera isn't resolving on them
due to it's attempt to resolve the much farther away tether.
In my opinion they are far, this comes from viewing stars that look remarkably similar at full zoom in my scope.
But we're still faced with the directional change issue.
It's especially apparent with the object that changes direction 3 times.
And the problem is compounded by the fact that many of these objects are clearly moving in different directions, and turning in different
Once again, thank you both for bringing physics, math, and science into this conversation. I look forward to reading your thoughts on the points
A star for each of you!
(Edited to add starsfor Armap and Waveguide3)
[edit on 18-3-2008 by WitnessFromAfar]