NASA Photographs Strange ‘Surfboard’ Phenomenon

( – NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been orbiting Earth’s moon and taking photos since 2009 but the LRO is not the only object out there.

In some of the pictures taken last month a long, narrow, and apparently flat mysterious object could be seen. When NASA released the images, internet sleuths went wild with speculations. Some dismissed it as a digital artifact while others were convinced it showed proof of alien life. However, neither theory proved to be true, as the object has been identified as South Korea’s lunar orbiter, Danuri, which was also orbiting about 3 miles closer to the moon than the NASA spacecraft.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland says the unusual shot that rendered Danuri a mysterious silver surfboard shape was a result of “exquisite timing”. The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) launched Danuri in 2022 and it has been travelling in a near parallel orbit to the LRO ever since. The strange appearance of the Danuri was a result of visual blurring caused by the relative speed of the two objects to one another which was approximately 7,200 miles per hour.

The LRO’s camera’s short exposure time made it possible to catch Danuri’s picture but smeared its appearance to ten times its actual size. Some online compared the flat oblong shape the Danuri seemed to be to the iconic surfboard of the comic book hero The Silver Surfer. While some are sure to be disappointed that the mysterious photo is not proof of alien technology, the reality is nearly as impressive.

While NASA’s LRO is meant to orbit the moon indefinitely, capturing photographs, Korea’s Danuri is collecting data ahead of a possible future Korean expedition to the moon’s surface. Coincidentally, the Danuri captured a picture of the LRO in April of 2023 as it passed 11 miles over the NASA craft. That photo was also fairly distorted. Photographs are not always a perfect representation of reality, and it’s best to keep that in mind when viewing them, particularly without additional context.

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