After working on the project for two years, two astrophotographers recently released an extremely detailed image of the moon. The image was created by stitching together more than 200,000 moon photos over two years. Most commonly, the Moon is seen as a large gray object in the night sky. This new image presents a rare view of our lunar neighbor in stunning color. The photo was produced by astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy and planetary scientist Connor Mathern, who collaborated on the project, according to NPR.
The duo, who bonded over social media, used to share and praise each other’s work before teaming up. “When he and I pulled together, we were able to make something a little off-brand for the two of us, which was cool. The whole thing was assembled like a mosaic, with each tile made up of thousands of photos,” McCarthy told NPR.
Two years ago, I collaborated with a fellow astrophotographer and planetary scientist @MatherneConnor Capture the most detailed images of the Moon we’ve ever captured. Over the past few months we’ve brainstormed again and come up with something a little clearer. Behold: pic.twitter.com/SebeDRJx2h
— Andrew McCarthy (@AJamesMcCarthy) August 20, 2022
McCarthy was good at taking detailed photos and capturing geological features on the lunar surface, while Mathern was good at color and taking deep space photos.
In one night, McCarthy took more than 200,000 detailed photographs of the Moon from Arizona, USA. Meanwhile, Matherne clicked 500 images from Louisiana to collect color data.
After that, the two spent nine months editing together to produce the best possible image of the moon. “Andrew’s goal was purely detail, and mine was purely color. That got us to the full moon,” says Mathern.
This 174-megapixel image shows the Moon in shades of red and bronze, with its Earth-facing side illuminated.McCarthy explain In one tweet, the red areas are “iron and feldspar, oxidized by free oxygen atoms from the earth”.
According to astrophotographers, while their work is highly technical, a camera, a tripod and a star tracker are all that is needed for such a task. However, McCarthy said patience poses a challenge for such projects.