Many thanks to J. -P. Metsavainio of
Finland, for sharing this exciting 3D
transformation technique (Sky and
Telescope, January 2005).

Lunar reprojection places a two
dimensional image onto an appropriately
sized three dimensional sphere, which
can then be viewed or imaged from a
different vantage point.

In the past, this required the use of
physical devices and photographic
techniques. J -P.'s method modernizes
the process, calling upon software
routines to perform the reprojection and

A suitable image can be brought into a
program such as Adobe PhotoShop,
where a spherical grid can be used as a
frame upon which the image is affixed. A
"trackball" control can then be
manipulated to rotate the orb into any
desired position, "unfurling" surface
features as they come more directly into

In this example, as the upper image was
rotated, the area southwest of Tycho
takes on dramatic changes. Indeed,
many of the structures are seen in such
radically different perspective that
identification becomes a challenge...
even though we know where we are!

Compare individual features from the
transformed image one-to-one with
those from the basis image above. The
changes in appearance for some are
awesome (and this is directly from the
very same image, kids... just rotated!)

This image was captured with a Canon
DSLR and AP Traveler. Initial
Processing was done in
Images Plus
with the final polish and 3D
transformation done using Adobe
PhotoShop CS.

For an anaglyphic 3D view,
click this link
(works best with Red left/Green right 3D
glasses or eyepiece filters).

For 3D Solar anaglyph
click this link.
3 Dimensional Lunar Transform
(Method shown in Sky and Telescope, January 2005)