Astronomy Picture of the Day
December 30, 2012

The Blue Flare
The Blue Flare

Credits: NASA/JPL/LPI and Lunar Explorer Italia/Italian Planetary Foundation for the Research and Process.

Many Scientists and Researchers, over the past forty years, have seen it, but only a few recognized this Luminous Feature as a true "Lunar Anomaly". What are we tallking about? Perhaps one of the greatest (and still, unfortunately, greatly ignored) Lunar Misteries that surfaced during the Glorious so-called "Apollo Days". In this GIF-Movie, realized by a former Member of the Italian Private and No-Profit Association known as Lunar Explorer Italia, the Anomaly (nicknamed "Blue Flare") shows itself as something truly bizarre and deeply fascinating.

In the late AD 2004, when we asked (acting as Lunar Explorer Italia) our Friends of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration about this phenomenon, we received no official answers. Then, about one year later, we asked the same question to the Lunar and Planetary Institute (or LPI, for short), and we obtained one answer (via e-mail) saying that what we called "Blue Flare", in fact, was NOT an image-artifact of some kind, but rather a true (---> real) Luminous Feature of unknown origin: "probably - a Member of the LPI speculated in the e-mail he sent us - an outgassing". Furthermore, this "Blue Flare" was not well visible only in a few frames taken during the Apollo 14 Mission (such as the pictures that made us start with the enquiry), but it could also be found, after a detailed and systematic research carried out by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team on all the pictures forming the "Apollo Collection", in several other frames (in total, more than thirty) that were taken during the Apollo Missions which ended with a Lunar Landing (and this means that the Feature was found in several frames taken from the Apollo 11 until the Apollo 17 Mission, with the exception of the Apollo 13).

After this reasearch was ended (we were in June of the AD 2006) and the official communications with the Lunar and Planetary Institute (about this subject) terminated, the issue, even though it was, in our humble opinion, extremely controversial and fascinating, was completely forgotten, except by the People of the Lunar Explorer Italia Association. As a matter of fact, we possess, in our On-line Archives, a digital copy of all the NASA - Apollo Original Color Frames that show this Feature and, after if you are interested, you only have to access our Image Gallery and then, by using the function "Cerca" (---> Search), you will find all the aformentioned frames which, as you will easily be able to notice, speak for themselves.

Now: are we saying that the "Blue Flare" is an Alien Probe? No. Of course not: we have no way to prove such an assertion! Is it, then, an "Outgassing" of some kind? Well, at first, we thought that it could have been possible, but after we checked all the pictures showing the Feature, we concluded that this hypothesis could not be confirmed nor supported at all (actually, it was very unlikely, and one of the reasons is that the Blue Flare was also visible during some orbital operations that were carried out by the Command Space Module - or CSM - and the Lunar Module - or LM - in the Circum-Lunar Space). So, what is the "Blue Flare", if it is not an image-artifact (such as, in one word, a simple defect of the film)? As a matter of fact, there would be one or two "Exotic Theories" available at this stage, but the truth is that, so far, nobody knows for sure. And this circumstance makes the whole subject even more fascinating, don't you think?...

If you have any insight or if you wish to share your opinion about this very unusual phenomenon, please send us an e-mail, and we will be happy to discuss your ideas. This GIF-Movie was realized by using 3 (three) frames, all taken on the Surface of the Moon, during the Apollo 14 Mission. The frames' ID numbers are: AS 14-66-9290, AS 14-66-9295 and AS 14-66-9301.

Note: you may find, somewhere on the WWW, several explanations about this phenomenon that we have nicknamed "Blue Flare". We suggest you to read as many of such explanations as you can, because they are all - in a way (sometimes, unfortunately, a sad and miserable one...) - interesting.

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