150,000 Photographs Used to Show the Hidden Colors of the Moon

Andrew McCarthy - Color Moon Photography

Astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy continues to wow us with his brilliant photos. He recently pulled together an incredible, high-resolution image of the moon from 50,000 photographs. While working on that project, he took the opportunity to also create a colorful version that shows off the moon's geological makeup. Taking the color data from 150,000 moon photos, he's come up with an artistic 64-megapixel color photograph of the moon.

This avant-garde image peels back the layers of the moon and reveals its hidden colors, standing in contrast to the more standard image he recently published. “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.”

Color Photograph of the Moon - Andrew McCarthy

A geological map of the moon shows just how rich with minerals the lunar environment really is. Through his stunning image, McCarthy makes it easy to visualize the chemical components present on the moon. The original image was created by using photos shot on two different cameras. While one captured the stars, color, and atmospheric haze, the other documented the surface details and texture of the moon.

In addition to the high resolution photograph, which McCarthy has made available for download as an 11 MB JPG and 23 MB PNG, he also created a charming animation. Here we see the moon slowly revealing its color for the world to see. Many of McCarthy's moonscapes—including this one—are also available as prints via his online store.

Supermoon colors revealed

Andrew McCarthy: Website | Instagram | Linktree

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Andrew McCarthy.

Related Articles:

100-Megapixel Photo Lets You Observe Rich Details of Craters on the Moon

Interview: The Story Behind This Perfect Photo of a Full Moon Surrounding an 800-Year-Old Church

Astrophotographer Creates Incredible Photo of the Solar System from His Backyard

15+ Awe-Inspiring Shots of the Super Blue Blood Moon Taken From Around the World

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.

Sponsored Content