Time to upgrade your wallpaper, people.
Two astrophotographers have just released what they call the “most ridiculously detailed picture” of the moon – the result of almost two years of hard work and 200,000 frames to create.
For thousands of years, people have seen the same silvery orb in the night sky – but never quite like it. As space photography enthusiast Andrew McCarthy says about his collaboration with planetary scientist Connor Mathorn, “see” this stunning image:
As you feast on this 174-megapixel beauty, you can see the moon red and gunmetal blue, brightened on the right-hand side as it faces Earth. The red patches are oxidized by defective oxygen atoms from the iron and feldspar earth, McCarthy said. Explained To curious viewers on Twitter.
Although the colors may appear false, they are technically the actual colors of the moon, only our eyes are not sensitive enough to see them, and so McCarthy calls the image a Saturation boost To bring out the colors in all their glory.
McCarthy’s specialty is actually detailed photography, taking thousands of photos to capture every nook, cranny, and crater on the moon’s surface. We also have Mathern, a planetary scientist and deep space photographer shooting from Louisiana, to thank.
As for how it was made, the masterpiece consists of over 200,000 images, all taken in one evening and stacked together.
“The whole thing is assembled like a mosaic, and each tile is made up of thousands of pictures,” McCarthy told NPR, simplifying what must have been a lengthy editing process.
Jodi is definitely there outdid himself and gave NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope a run for its money.
But it was another NASA mission — preparing to return humans to the moon for the first time since 1972 — that inspired their artistic endeavors.
“This image is a love letter to the upcoming Artemis 1 mission, the first human-rated lunar launch vehicle in 50 years,” McCarthy said. Tweeted.
The first major milestone in that mission, due to launch on August 29, is an unmodified test flight of the Space Launch System, a super-heavy-lift rocket capable of (hopefully) ferrying astronauts to the far side of the moon.
Later, Artemis missions plan to land astronauts near permanently shadowed patches of the Moon.
This isn’t the first time that McCarthy and Matherne, who first connected on Reddit, have gifted us with adorable candy-colored photos of the moon and other celestial bodies.
My image of the Trifid Nebula, a small nebula located 4,000 light years away.
While the technical details are nice and all, I think it looks like restricted cotton candy and I don’t really get past that. pic.twitter.com/x25HbS0DOo
— Connor Matherne (@MatherneConnor) August 22, 2022
Two years ago, the pair shared their first composite photo of the moon, looking back Looks very quiet Compared to their most recent revelations, however, shocked audiences at the time.
And in 2019, McCarthy posted this grayscale photo of our moon bathed in light and floating serenely in space, somewhat reminiscent of the iconic Earthrise image taken by Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders.
While that kind of photography is beyond our reach, the stunning photographs that McCarthy and Matherne produced using basic equipment – a camera, a tripod and a star tracker – are not.
However, as McCarthy told NPR, it takes a lot of patience to get the goods, and most nights, he walks away empty-handed.
“Anyone can do it, but it takes a special temperament,” he said.