Two astrophotographers have succeeded in capturing what they call “the most detailed image of the moon”, as a result of a nearly two-year hard work, with more than 200,000 frames in the making.
Astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy teamed up with planetary scientist Connor Matherne to capture a detailed image of the moon tinged with red and blue bronze, illuminated against a black background of space, according to Science Alert.
Specifications of the new image of the moon
The beautiful 174-megapixel image, in which the moon can be seen in mixed red and dark blue, lit on the right side and facing the Earth, McCarthy explained to curious viewers on Twitter that the red spots are iron and feldspar oxidized by the oxygen atoms straying from the Earth.
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
While the colors might look wrong, technically they’re the real moon, but our eyes aren’t sensitive enough to see them, so McCarthy gave the image a saturation boost to bring out the colors in all their glory.
In terms of image composition, the masterpiece consists of more than 200,000 photos, all taken over a two-year period and stacked together.
Simplifying what should have been a lengthy editing process, McCarthy told NPR, “Everything was put together like a mosaic, every tile made of thousands of images.”
Stunning Past Works of McCarthy and Mathern
This isn’t the first time McCarthy and Mathern have given us stunning images of the Moon and other celestial bodies in delicious candy colors; Two years ago, they shared their first photomontage of the moon, which looks quite bad compared to their latest revelation, but they just stunned viewers at the time.
And in 2019, McCarthy published this gray image of our moon covered in light and quietly floating in space, somewhat reminiscent of the image of Earthrise taken by astronaut Bill Anders aboard Apollo 8.
While this kind of image is within our reach on Earth, what McCarthy and Mathern produce using basic equipment such as a camera, tripod and star tracker is different.
McCarthy told NPR that it takes a lot of patience to reach this beauty and most nights he walks empty-handed, saying, “Anyone can do it, but it takes a special temperament.”
“Proud twitter enthusiast. Introvert. Hardcore alcohol junkie. Lifelong food specialist. Internet guru.”
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