This HD Photo Gives Us an Extremely Detailed Look at Hundreds of Craters on the Moon

High Definition Photo of the Moon by Andrew McCarthy

Backyard astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy is always pushing his work to new heights and his latest photo, titled All Terminator, is no exception. This high-definition image of the moon is like no other, so it should come as no surprise that McCarthy devoted weeks to its creation. Thanks to his dedication, every nook and crater is highlighted in this spectacular view of the moon and its lunar surface.

So how did it all come together? In order to get the perfect blend of light and shadow, McCarthy spent two weeks photographing the waxing moon. These images were then sliced and blended together for this final look at the moon. To fulfill his creative vision of a photograph where it would be possible to see the texture of the moon's entire surface, it took a lot of patience.

McCarthy wanted to get enough slices of the lunar terminator in order to create the texture he was after. This is why he needed to continually take photos while the moon was waxing. So what is a lunar terminator and why is it important? We're all familiar with images of the moon half in shadow and half in light. The lunar terminator is the line between light and dark and, within this area, it's much easier to discern features like craters. The reason the moon's surface is more visually legible in this area is thanks to shadows. As the Sun is nearer to the horizon in the terminator, it causes long shadows, which give the surface its three-dimensional appearance.

With this in mind, McCarthy was tenacious enough to attempt the project—no easy feat considering that every day the moon changes position slightly. In order to seam together the 12 photos used in the final image, the astrophotographer mapped the individual photos to a sphere and adjusted them manually. While McCarthy describes the work as “exhausting,” we'd say the final product is well worth it.

These close-up details of the moon show the incredible texture photographer Andrew McCarthy was able to draw out of the lunar surface.

Detailed View of the Moon's Surface

The astrophotographer spent two weeks photographing the waxing moon to create the composite image.

Detail of Moon's Surface and Craters

Andrew McCarthy: Website | Instagram | Patreon | YouTube | ImageKind

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

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. 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.

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