Six American Flags Planted On The Moon Have Bleached

First Posted: Apr 10, 2017 03:15 AM EDT

Apollo 11 astronauts have planted six flags on the Moon in 1969. After over 40 years, all these flags have bleached into bony-white, according to experts.

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter took an image of the American flags in 2012, and it showed at least five out of six flags still standing. On the other hand, the scientists thought that these have bleached out their colors. Then, they have become white now, according to Business Insider.

It is reported that the Moon does not have any atmosphere to attract light. Furthermore, the outside of the craters does not have shade. With this, the American flags are unprotected from the blazing sunlight and more to intense solar radiation.

The American flags planted on the Moon are made of nylon for $5.50 each in 1969. This is about $33 a piece in 2012. Dennis Lacarruba, the manufacturer of the flags, did not think that there would still be flags erecting on the Moon. He thought there would not be anything left and assume they were already ashes, as noted by Gizmodo.

Meanwhile, Paul Spudis, a lunar scientist, explained how these flags have turned into white. He said that the flags have been unprotected to the ferocity of the Moon's environment for 40 odd years. This involved exchanging 14 days of burning sunlight and 100 degrees' Celsius heat with 14 days of numbing-cold-150 degrees Celsius darkness. What is more damaging is the exposure to intense ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This made the Apollo cloth flags fade.

Spudis further said that even on Earth, the colors of a cloth flag eventually fade after many years and thus need replacement. This would likely be the same for the American flags on the Moon, which were bleached white by the UV radiation of unfiltered sunlight on the Moon. He added that they might be physically disintegrated, too. 

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