Photographer Stacks 150,000 Photos To Reveal Hidden Colors Of The Moon

Since the dawn of time, the moon has fascinated humans. Even though for the better part of our history it has been unattainable, since the first moon landing in 1969, 24 humans have visited the only natural satellite of Earth. While lunar travel isn’t available to everyone, there are other ways to explore it. One of these means is photography.

Andrew McCarthy, an astrophotography enthusiast based in Sacramento, extracted color data from 150,000 photos of the moon to create this enhanced photo showing all the different splashes of color on the surface left by the impacts of different minerals.

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Photographer Andrew McCarthy spent weeks creating probably the clearest photo of the moon’s surface we have ever seen

“The color was already in that picture, hidden behind the glare of the moon’s albedo, and represents the mineral content of our moon,” McCarthy writes. “While my previous images showed you the detail you could see if your eyes were sharper, this one shows you what the moon could look like if our eyes and brain were much more sensitive to color.

“The blues denote high titanium content, and oranges represent low titanium content in the basalt.”

“Because I took so many shots to average out the blurring caused by atmospheric turbulence, as well as to eliminate noise captured by the camera sensor, the accuracy of the subtle coloration of the moon was incredibly high, allowing me to apply saturation and contrast adjustments to create this moonstrosity,” the photographer says.

Another of his photos of the moon was created by combining 20,000 photos into one

“This image combines 20,000 photos that have been edited to reveal stars, colors, and the dark side of the moon, and then it was run through Artificial Intelligence algorithms to sharpen up details and eliminate noise, allowing me to turn this into a crystal clear 100 megapixel image of our celestial buddy.”