There is already an awful lot of evidence that the Apollo Moon Landings happened in the 1960s and 1970s. That includes the absence of any compelling evidence to the contrary.
But now a team of researchers have come up with yet another proof that -- despite incredible odds, relatively backward technology and insane time constraints -- American engineers and astronauts did in fact land on the Moon.
The new proof is the work of two scientists at the University of Colorado, Hsiang-Wen Hsu and Mihály Horányi, who write in the Journal of American Physics that footage taken during Apollo 16 could not have been collected anywhere but the Moon.
The footage, taken by Lunar Module Pilot Charlie Duke, shows Mission Commander John Young driving across the Descartes highlands in a lunar buggy:
It looks like incredible fun. But it also shows some unusual physics at work.
Hsu and Horanyi point out that the movement of the dust (regolith) particles from behind the rover have a trajectory that can only be explained by Lunar gravity, as compared to Earth gravity.
The acceleration of the dust, after accounting for other forces like surface-rebounding particles, was about 1.48 and 1.6 meters-per-second-squared. By comparison, Earth's gravity is 9.8 meters-per-second-squared.
This graph compares the movement of the dust (in blue) with dotted green lines captured in simulations using Earth gravity.
So there you have it. Proof. Again. Read the full paper here if you must.