Is this what Buzz Aldrin saw on the moon? Artist ‘unwraps’ a classic picture taken by Neil Armstrong on the Apollo 11 mission, revealing a 360-degree astronaut’s-eye panoramic view of the lunar surface


  • VFX Artist Michael Ranger Enlarges a Visor Reflection to Create the Buzz Eye View
  • It Effectively Shows That Buzz Aldrin May Have Seen Through His Suit Helmet
  • It includes a scene by astronaut Neil Armstrong taking the iconic photo of Aldrin
  • This is one of the only images of Armstrong on the Moon when he took the pictures.

A visual effects artist has ‘uncapped’ a classic photo taken by Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 11 mission, to show what Buzz Aldrin may have looked like.

video clip uploaded to reddit, a 360-degree panoramic view of the Moon’s surface that Armstrong and Aldrin first stepped on in 1969.

To create the panorama, artist Michael Ranger, who heads up to rg1213, zoomed in on the reflection of the lunar surface in Buzz Aldrin’s visor and ‘uncapped’ it.

Using Photoshop he touched up the picture and wrapped it back into a vertical video, giving us an idea of ​​what Aldrin might have seen through his visor.

While there are many images from the Apollo 11 mission, all by Buzz Aldrin, this is the first to show a clear view of Armstrong standing on the surface.

To create the panorama, artist Michael Ranger, who goes up to rg1213, zoomed in on the reflection of the lunar surface in Buzz Aldrin’s visor and ‘opened it up’ in this iconic image taken by Neil Armstrong

Opening the reflection allowed him to see the full scene before Aldrin's eyes, of which Armstrong took the photo.

Opening the reflection allowed him to see the full scene before Aldrin’s eyes, of which Armstrong took the photo.

Who has gone to the moon?

A total of twelve people have walked on the Moon, starting with Armstrong and Aldrin in 1969 and ending with Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmidt in 1972.

1 + 2. Apollo 11 – 21 July 1969 July

Neil Armstrong made history by becoming the first man to step on the moon.

Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin follows Neil Armstrong to the surface of the Moon.

3 + 4. Apollo 12 – November 19 and 20, 1969

Pete Conrad and Alan Bean were to walk on the Moon on the Apollo 12 mission.

5 + 6. Apollo 14 – February 5, 1971

Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell were part of the Apollo 14 mission, landing in the Fra Mauro region of the Moon, the original destination for Apollo 13.

7 + 8. Apollo 15 – 31 July 1971

David Scott and James Irwin landed on the Moon and stayed for three days until August 2.

9 + 10. Apollo 16 – 21 April 1972

John Young and Charles Duke were the next people to walk on the moon. When the crew reached lunar orbit, the mission almost had to be aborted due to a problem with the main engine of the command/service module.

11 + 12. Apollo 17 – December 11, 1972

The last people to walk on the Moon were Eugene (Jean) Cernan and Harrison (Jack) Schmidt.

Before leaving the moon, Cernan scratches the initials of his daughter Tracy into the lunar regolith.

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This is the first time we’ve had a 360-degree astronaut-eye view of the Moon, and it was possible thanks to high-resolution scans of the original photos.

The image was taken from the Project Apollo Archive, a collection of 9,200 high-resolution images taken during each crewed mission to the Moon.

They are from original NASA scans of images and film captured by astronauts visiting Earth’s only natural satellite.

To create its ‘Buzz Eye View’, Ranger took one of the most iconic photographs of the first crewed lunar landing – showing Buzz Aldrin standing on the surface of the Moon and taken by the first man on the Moon, Neil Armstrong.

In the photo Aldrin stands near the foot of the Eagle lunar lander, which carried him and Armstrong to the surface of the Moon, his arm half raised.

Zooming into the visor, you can see that his shadow is drawn in front of him and Armstrong stands with the Hasselblad camera on his chest.

Earth can be seen ‘just’ in the upper right of the visor reflection ‘Notice the pale blue dot?’ the ranger said on Reddit.

‘I took this famous image of Buzz Aldrin on the moon, zoomed in on his visor, and because it’s essentially a mirror ball, I was able to ‘open’ it up in this 2D image. Then I opened it in the Google Street View app and saw what it saw,’ he said.

The ranger took out the view of this visor and ‘opened it’ to create a panoramic view of the moon as seen from Aldrin.

“The suit’s visors are coated with gold, so I have corrected the gold using the full picture as a color reference to the actual word colors,” Ranger wrote.

‘I added more space to the initial photo crop around the edges of the visor so that when it is opened it will more accurately account for the space in the final 360° image that represents the inside of his helmet.’

This was not the first time he had attempted the project. Their first attempt in 2019 involved a very low resolution image without ‘re-touching’.

For this version he first created a 2D image from the high-resolution Apollo scans.

‘Using that high quality photo, I created a panoramic 360-degree image, which I opened in a free 360-degree viewer and recorded video with it,’ Ranger wrote.

‘Apart from the high resolution and uncompressed file format of the film scan, I sharpened and colored it in Photoshop on my iPhone as before, giving better results.

They have an ambitious plan to use AI to search for ‘motion blur’ in long exposure images taken of the Moon and elsewhere, in order to recreate the ‘movement’ and effectively shorten video clips – or ‘Live Photos’ – Get out of old still images.

Apollo 11 launched on July 16, 1969, four days later on July 20, landing Armstrong and Aldrin on the Moon, the pair captured numerous photographs and videos.

In the new panorama you can see what Buzz Aldrin saw, including his own shadow cast in unfiltered sunlight

This is one of the few images of Neil Armstrong on the Moon, seen through the reflection in Buzz Aldrin's visor

The VFX artist used new high-resolution scans of Apollo-era photographs to show us what Buzz Aldrin saw, including his own shadow in unfiltered sunlight (left) and through the visor of Buzz Aldrin’s helmet One of the only images of Armstrong seen from right)

The images were taken from the Project Apollo Archive, a collection of 9,200 high-resolution images taken during each crewed mission to the Moon.

The images were taken from the Project Apollo Archive, a collection of…

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