The research of image processing and deconvolution is a rapidly growing scientific field
with broad range of
applications, one of which is astronomy.
I'm currently working on application of image deconvolution procedure to restore details from orbital photos of lunar surface from Apollo Program.
It's an ongoing research but the results have been positive. I won't be going into technical details for this post other than uncompressed TIFF
scans seem to produce the best restored details without compression artifacts. It's not hard to see that a 50Mb TIFF file would contain more
information than a 0.5Mb JPG file even though they may look quite similar on surface.
One photo that I'd like to present to you is AS08-13-2329, also known as the first photo of Earthrise taken by a human from the Moon. It was taken
during Apollo 8 mission, looking over the crater called Pasteur.
Link to original TIFF: archive.org...
One obvious thing from the scene that jumps out at the viewer is a Y-shaped object located middle-right of the photo. The origin and nature of the
object is for another post but I can say that it does not exist in JPG of the photo found at history of NASA website but can be found in original scan
versions located at archive.org and Gateway to Astronaut Photographs of Earth website.
Back to the subject. In the thumbnailed photo, I've drawn a square representing the 1920x1080 section of the restored photo I will be presenting in
this thread. The original TIFF linked above has dimensions of 5262x5122.
The restored detail is so full of shapes that connect, intersect, interweave and in certain places join together to form elaborate structures that it
would be impossible for anyone to draw these in pixel by pixel not to mention this represents about 1/10th of the scene which are also full of
Visual definition seems to come from slight difference in brightness between the shapes and the edges. With slightly brighter pixels representing the
structural material and slightly darker pixels representing ground space or the gap between objects.
What stands out to me besides the coherency are the elaborateness of some of these structures and the fact in certain places, near identically shaped
structures are showing up next to each other two, three or even four at a time. The orientation or angle in which they exist side by side seems to
vary as well from one set to another, as in one set has structures next to each other along horizontal alignment, other times in diagonal or near
Some repeating structures highlighted
What's more, nearly the entire photo (of which above crop represents about 10%) seems to be full of objects that are more elaborate and coherent than
just a circle, triangle or x on the surface. They seem to contain surface details conveying structures and connections with some semblance of
coherence and artificiality.
For this to get any further a consultation with researchers specializing in the field of image processing and restoration is probably required. We
need to verify the validity of the procedure and whether a restored scene like this could be based on some real underlying pixel data therefore
representing what's actually on the surface with some confidence. Until then, have fun studying the image, as I will be. I will be highlighting more
things that stand out to me and you are welcome to contribute as well.