With the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing having just past earlier this year, one amateur photographer has marked the occasion by giving the world the most detailed picture of Buzz Aldrin on the lunar surface to date. Andy Saunders, 45, from Cheshire, used photo-enhancing technology to improve NASA’s photo of Dr Aldrin, who is now 89, on the Moon to such an extent that his face and smile can be seen through the visor of his helmet. Mr Saunders said that he brightened and darkened the shades of the photo, which was taken by fellow Moon lander Neil Armstrong, often a few pixels at a time, to slowly reveal Dr Aldrin’s face.
Once the cheeky smile of Dr Aldrin was revealed, Mr Saunders spent hours altering the saturation of the image.
Mr Saunders said: “I wonder how many people would realise based on the original image that Buzz is visible.
“It must have been viewed billions of times. What’s interesting is it’s one of the most iconic images of all time and it has been holding this detail which I’ve managed to reveal.
“Although I’m the first to do it, it’s really not that technical. I just use photo-processing equipment and dedication.
“I alter the contrast, reduce the sound and edit the highlights on the countless amount of layers. I use what is called dodging and burning.
“It essentially makes the lighter but light and the darker bits dark.
“I was able to faintly make out the microphone across his face and from there I was able to spot his eyes.
“Then I work with a collection of pixels at a time to expose what is underneath.
READ MORE: NASA warn of Buckingham Palace sized asteroid to skim past Earth
“It’s quite refreshing to see the human journey told through pictures in the 1960s.”
On July 20, 1969, NASA’s Apollo 11 arrived at the Moon and saw Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin take a “giant leap for mankind”.
While the duo walked the Moon, Michael Collins, who was command module pilot, orbited the Moon in the spaceship which would eventually ferry them back to Earth.
Now NASA is looking to put humans on the Moon for the first time since 1972.
The space agency has decided it has unfinished business on our lunar satellite and wants to set up a permanent base on the Moon, with the missions hopefully taking place in 2024.
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine made the announcement that he wants to set up a lunar colony and called on “the best and brightest of American industry to help design and develop “human lunar landers”.
The base would be used as a checkpoint between Earth and Mars while also allowing astronauts to study the moon in close detail.