Behold, the most detailed, high-resolution photo of our natural satellite, the moon.
Taken not by a space agency but by two dedicated, talented astrophotographers, the 174-megabyte image is the result of two years of patient craft. Made up of thousands of individual images, the final composite shows the moon in stunning color and detail, showing the myriad of craters that mark the surface, but also the rich colors and depth that make up the surface.
The photographers Andrew McCarthy and Connor Matherne collaborated to create the image, which they call a tribute to NASA’s upcoming Artemis I mission, which is set to launch this year.
The 200,000+ images of the moon were captured in Arizona and Louisiana, compiled together to create this one, beautiful photograph.
Prints of the image are available on McCarthy’s website.
“The color in this image is real, but presented with increased saturation so it is easily visible to our eyes,” he wrote. “The reddish tones demonstrate areas rich in iron and feldspar, while the bluish areas are spots where the regolith is rich in titanium. Oxidization from influence from Earth’s atmosphere makes the colors appear like they do.”
Two years ago, I teamed up with fellow astrophotographer and planetary scientist @MatherneConnor to capture the most ridiculously detailed moon image we could. Over the last few months we put our heads together again to come up with something even clearer. Behold: pic.twitter.com/SebeDRJx2h
— Andrew McCarthy (@AJamesMcCarthy) August 20, 2022