You've most likely seen the Moon at some stage, either in Hollywood movies, via NASA's website, or by looking up at the night sky. Images of the Moon appear regularly, however, a man posted his image of the Moon on Reddit, and it is blowing people's minds.
Eric Morgunov's image of the Moon stands out for one main reason: it's 500 pictures of the Moon brought together to create one incredible 52 megapixel photograph.
How did Morgunov capture the images?
When you zoom into the image, you won't believe your eyes. The image is so detailed, and the colors so vivid that some commentors on Reddit thought they were seeing an ocean on the Moon.
This 'ocean' is known as the 'Sea of Tranquility', or 'Mare Tranquillitatis' — which is not an actual sea — and is where the Apollo missions landed. It's merely a type of material on the surface of the Moon that makes it appear blue and ocean-like.
In addition to the blue hues showing up on the Moon, the images clearly show its Earthshine, which is the glowing light that lights up the unlit part of the Moon. This happens because the Sun is reflecting off the Earth's surface, and back onto the Moon. It's quite spectacular to behold.
To understand just a tiny amount of the work Morgunov had to do in order to create his masterpiece, he explains this in his own words via his Instagram post.
View this post on Instagram
I took 500 pictures of the moon to create a 52 Mega Pixel Photo of the Moon with Earth-Shine this picture is two diffrent types of photos a long exposure (to capture earthshine) and a fast shutter to capture the illuminated side. the illuminated side is 500 photos of 1/60 at 100iso, was stacked and sharpend in autostakertt3 and registax6. the earth shine was around 15 photos at 3 second expo w/ 1600iso stacked and sharpend in autostakertt3 and registax6. i blended the two photos together in photoshop (alot more work then it seems) added a star trail background gave it glow (alot more work i just simplified it) full download link. (https://drive.google.com/open?id=13tBdFCNkS7ol9Q2MFYgS6vvALe9PdPIk) : #hdr #moon #hdrmoon #hdrphotography #earthshine #apollo #ig #space #l #fullmoon #moonlight #sky #nightsky #themoon #moonrise #moonlovers #nature #moonshine #photooftheday #moonphases #newmoon #moonrocks #moonshots #thelunarchronicles #marissameyer #moonrock #goodnightmoon #photography #astronomy #bhfyp
Morgunov said, "This picture is two different types of photos, a long exposure (to capture earthshine) and a fast shutter to capture the illuminated side."
He continued to explain the additional images he used, which created the final piece: "The illuminated side is 500 photos of 1/60 at 100iso, was stacked and sharpened in autostakertt3 and registax6. The earthshine was around 15 photos at 3-second expo w/ 1600iso stacked and sharpened in autostakertt3 and registax6. I blended the two photos together in photoshop (a lot more work then it seems) added a star trail background gave it glow."
I took 500 pictures of the moon to create a 52 Mega Pixel Photo of the Moon with Earth-Shine [OC] from r/interestingasfuck
That's a lot of work for one image, but we're grateful for it.