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Thread: Buzz's Stars

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Buzz's Stars

    Anybody know of a link to Aldrin's statements that he COULD see stars from the lunar surface?

    By looking straight up as I recall...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    If he could see any stars it speaks well for his eyes. I simulated the lunar surface in daylight with some translucent material over a floodlight and checked the brightness with an exposure meter. While holding it horizontally just under my nose I could see Arcturus with some difficulty and Antares with great difficulty. Not only did the light cause my eyes to become somewhere near daylight adapted, it created glare in my eyes that washed out the dark sky. This was without any further impairment from a helmet visor.

    A quick Google search did not reveal anything meaningful about what Aldrin saw, but I have seen plenty of references in which the astronauts reported that they could see only the brightest stars, and with difficulty. Only when the spacecraft was shadowed by the Earth or the Moon did the night sky appear with its full glory.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    If he could see any stars it speaks well for his eyes. I simulated the lunar surface in daylight with some translucent material over a floodlight and checked the brightness with an exposure meter. While holding it horizontally just under my nose I could see Arcturus with some difficulty and Antares with great difficulty. Not only did the light cause my eyes to become somewhere near daylight adapted, it created glare in my eyes that washed out the dark sky. This was without any further impairment from a helmet visor.

    A quick Google search did not reveal anything meaningful about what Aldrin saw, but I have seen plenty of references in which the astronauts reported that they could see only the brightest stars, and with difficulty. Only when the spacecraft was shadowed by the Earth or the Moon did the night sky appear with its full glory.
    Addendum: Looking straight up while standing in his spacesuit would have been difficult.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    AFAIK, the Apollo 11 crew reported being able to see stars while over the night side of the moon, but not on the day side, either on the surface or in orbit.

    Grant Hutchison

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    52
    From the comments in the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal it appears that Buzz couldn't see stars, see transcript at time 103:22:30 and the comments following 103:22:54.

    However, Cernan (Apollo 17) could see stars from the surface, see comments after 113:19:58: "... I could see stars through my helmet visor; not easily, but it can be done."

    Bye,
    Thomas

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