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O'Neill's 'bridge'


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About this observation
Bill Leatherbarrow
Time of observation
27/10/2018 - 04:23
Mare Crisium
Observing location
OMC300 Mak-Cass
ASI 290MM camera
IR 742nm pass filter

On 29 July 1953, J. J. O'Neill, science editor of the 'New York Herald Tribune', reported seeing a 'gigantic natural bridge' with a span of about 12 miles between the promontories Olivium and Lavinium (unofficial names) on the western edge of the Mare Crisium. The 'discovery' caused quite a stir and was confirmed by the then-Director of the BAA Lunar Section, H. P. Wilkins. Many were deeply sceptical - with good cause - and Wilkins' reputation never recovered. This image, captured under poor seeing conditions, shows nothing in the region that could be construed as a bridge. For a fuller account of the O'Neill Bridge affair see my paper in the BAA Journal, vol. 122, no. 1 (February 2012).

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