Astrophotography by Anthony Ayiomamitis

Lunar Image Gallery - Scenic Phenomenon

Our closest celestial neighbour has kept us company for at least four billion years and has entertained our imagination in a variety of ways. It certainly has been involved in our maturation as a species with man's first step on a body beyond our planet during the latter part of the twentienth century and will, inevitably, be our first stop prior to any sort of manned travel to a further celestial body such as Mars. The moon has been a great source of education about our own planet's evolutionary history; it has entertained many inquisitive minds from earlier cultures and generations about the universe in general and man's role in particular; it has enriched the minds of young children taking their first look through a telescope and continues to impact our lives in ways we may or may not readily recognize including tidal forces and various natural rhythms and cycles.

Note: The moon is invariably characterized as a colorless object whose features fall into one of the countless shades of black and white. Nevertheless, there are reports from Apollo mission astronauts as well as ground-based observers of color being noted, thus reinforcing the rich and geologically diverse nature of the lunar surface.

Although the modus operandi for astrophotographers is to also pursue the imaging of the moon in grayscale, thus implicitly reinforcing the notion that the moon is a monochrome celestial object, the image below indicates the injustice and loss of science that may occur when discarding RGB information for grayscale. To be more specific, careful inspection of lunar images indicate subtle colouration which can be enhanced using digital processing techniques to reveal characteristics surrounding the geological composition of the lunar surface. Using the image below, areas which are blue are associated with high titatium content whereas the converse is true for areas which are orange and rich in aluminum and iron. Titanium is of significance since it has a tendency to bind with available oxygen, thus allowing for the possibility that future habitation of the moon would involve mining and processing this available supply of oxygen for survival.

Note: The Galileo spacecraft has taken various false colour images of the lunar surface and which resemble the image below. For one such impressive example, click here. Additional examples are available here.


Image Details
Luna in False Colour
Imaging Details
Body:
Moon

Mass:
0.0123 x Earth

Mean Eq Diameter:
0.2719 x Earth

Distance:
406,275 km

Sidereal Rev:
27d 07h 43m 11s

Age:
14d 23h 21m

Phase:
99.9

Diameter:
29.73'

Magnitude:
-12.6

Rukl:
N/A
Date:
Apr 03, 2007
01:53:00 UT+3


Location:
Athens, Greece

Equipment:
AP 160 f/7.5 StarFire EDF
AP 1200GTO GEM
Canon EOS 300d


Exposure(s):
1/200 sec
ISO 100
RAW Image Format
3072x2048 Image Size
Manual Mode


Software:
Canon FileViewer V1.3.2
Photoshop CS-II


Processing:
RAW to TIFF (16-bit) Conv
Hue/Saturation
Desaturation
Levels
Contrast/Brightness
Unsharp Masking
Resampling
JPG Compression