Regarding the first image in the OP:
1. Is this a 'stitched' image?
This isn't even open for discussion. If you follow the link
the panoramic image in the OP you will have taken the first step towards enlightenment (on this subject, at least).
Here, it is clearly stated that this panoramic image is a combination of these source frames:
A list of every photograph used to create this image:
That's NINETEEN separate photographs that were combined to create the panoramic image.
In the OP the photographs being combined are probably AS17-147-22547 through AS17-147-22550. If you take the time to look at each of these photos, you
will see that they overlap significantly - the anomalies aren't from 'filling in the gaps', they are from blending photos together. The pics in the
OP zoomed into the 'seam' areas where these photographs were blended together and found anomalies. It's not surprising there are visible anomalies
at the seams.
Here's a glaring anomaly just above the area depicted in the OP:
As someone stated earlier, these photographs were probably taken without a tripod (although I can't personally verify that), which would make it
difficult to keep the camera level during the process of taking 19 photographs. Not only that, but the person was in a cumbersome space suit while
doing so! On the moon! In low gravity!
2. "Photoshop! Software glitches! Clone tool! I'm a graphic designer!"
Correct me if I'm wrong, but these photo's are from 1972 (mission 17). I would guess that these panoramic images were created without any type of
computer software. Sure, NASA could try again with more modern technology, but they did a pretty good job the first time, and they are limited by the
photos that they are working with.
If you're so confident in your abilities, replicate this panoramic YOURSELF! You can make your very own version of this panoramic image, because
EVERY SINGLE SOURCE FRAME is provided individually, and at high resolution HERE
. Try and
make something as good as this NASA image(which was probably done manually, in a dark room). I am tempted to try myself, but creating this post has
worn me out!
3. Don't understand photography and perspective? That's OK, but it doesn't mean we haven't been to the moon.
The first time I tried to manually make a panoramic picture using multiple photographs I screwed it up, badly. But I learned from the experience. I
dug up my first failed attempt, which consists of FOUR individual photos, taken from a tripod, blended together using a computer. NOTE - the reason
it's flawed like this is because of the position of the camera when the photos were taken. The point is: slight variations in angle and perspective
can have consequences when trying to combine images into a panorama.