Thursday, November 22, 2007

Colors Of The Moon


Very happy, got a break in the clouds and was able to snap some images of the Moon a couple nights ago! It has been cloudy, cold and snowy here what seems like forever so when I got the opportunity, carried my big A_ _ ( hint, not arm) scope up the stairs and outside the front door to snap some quick pics before the clouds come back, which they did after about an hour. It was cold out, about -10c but that's good, less turbulence in the air, on my Moon shots there is more detail, the ray system of both Tycho and Copernicus really stand out.

I put my camera on the highest quality setting to squeeze as many pixels as possible out of it to see if I could draw out the colors of the Moon by saturating it in photo shop. The image below was the result. My best attempt to date. The blues/greens such as the Sea Of Tranquility, (the blue color sea top center of the Moon), represent Lunar basalts high in metals such as titanium, thorium and iron; the rust colors are metal poor basalts like the Sea Of Serenity , just to the west of the Sea of Tranquility and one of the eyes of the famous face on the Moon; the white colors represent the continental highlands platform ejecta, consisting of anorthosites containing some aluminum and finally the bright white areas are recent impact ejecta.




Notice Tycho crater, the bright white crater bottom right of the Moon with the extensive ray system, scientists believe that the impactor which hit the Moon and created Tycho was the result of a collision between 2 asteroids in the main asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars and they also believe that same collision created another impactor which in turn hit the Earth 65 million years ago and caused the mass extinction of the dinosaur. Well right about now you're probably wondering as I am how you got from a guy taking a picture of the Moon in his front yard to the mass extinction of the dinosaurs, don't ask, couldn't tell you, I do this on the fly a lot of times, hope you find it interesting.




I was reading an article the other day about how odd our Moon is, odd in the sense that our Moon was probably created by our Earth colliding with a Mars size planet about 4.5 billion years ago, the rocks and dust that were blasted from the collision formed the Moon. Scientists are saying this only happens 5-10% of the time. Planetary systems are usually formed side by side or planets acquire their moons by gravity.

25 comments:

Andrew said...

I never gave a much thought to both impacts being possibly related,although it would make sense.The moon would have been a lot closer to Earth 65 million years ago making such impacts more common....just a uneducated thought :) .
Really nice shot of the moon!!.
Andrew

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Andrew, thanks, wild about the impactors having something in common.

kml said...

Sounds like a game of pool going on all those years ago with our earth and moon.

I like the saturated moon - it gives it a whole different look.

Rand said...

Awesome images, I've got to admit that before reading your blog, I thought only Nasa could take images like that, pretty ignorant aye lol.

Just amazing images, can't stop looking at em.

Bob Johnson said...

Hi and thanks Kathy, weird about the pool game isn't it?

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Rand, now you know NASA and I are the only ones, lol

The Uneasy Supplicant said...

Bob, I like how you described the various colors and how each represent a different element found on the moon. Totally interesting. AND...
your moon shots are perfect. I'm totally envious. :-) I'm curious to know what digital camera you use.
~JD

DrowseyMonkey said...

Verrrry Interesting. That second image is gorgeous!

(I've tagged you ... I know you're not a big meme person so you don't have to participate if you don't want to...but isn't it nice that I'm thinking of you? :D )

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JD! The camera is an Olympus Stylus 400, 4 megapixel point and shoot, it is a very good camera, and very basic. The key to the Moon shots is my big arm scope, it has a 12" mirror and pulls in a lot of detail, it is an Orion XT 12 Intelliscope, I love the optics, I'd love the scope even more if it didn't break my back every time I lifted it :)

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks drowseymonkey! yes it is nice that you thought of me, now if you win the lotto and think of me I'll do your meme, I'll pop over and take a look at the questions any hoo, who knows?

Peter said...

Hi! This is going to sound a bit naive but I'll give it a go.

Even with the best of home telecopes, can one get an even closer look at the moons surface than the ones shown in your images?

Having said that, anything is possible I suppose and I would imagine that if you got to close the magic of the moons full appearance could be lost.

I'd never seen the blue colors of the moon, that you mention and reveal on your images, until now. Thanks for sharing them with me.

Regards
Peter McCartney

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Peter, you are right you can get a lot closer images even with your basic scopes you might find in someones home, you are also right that you loose some of the magic of seeing the full appearance of the Moon, I've done some closer images of the Moon, Tycho crater for example a couple posts back.

Peter said...

Hi again! Thank you for the feedback. I'll now go and find those images you mentioned.

Regards
Peter

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Peter, glad to be of help.

Anna said...

Bob, wow these are very nice moon photos. I have been snapping there and there while I get opportunity also, just like you said clouds and cold prevents me sometimes to snap. Last night the moon was really bright, and with the snow there were lot of shadows on the ground. Anna :) PS I will be back to read your other post, as I have fallen a bit behind.

Anna said...

Wow that is great Bob, I read somewhere that it is really impossible to get 100% full moon. Did you know the time of the 100% full moon? The moon was amazing last night. Anna :) PS I guess I will be awaiting your next post and pics of the 100% full moon.

Bob Johnson said...

Hi and Thanks Anna, your right it is hard to get out and take pics in this weather, had another opening in the clouds last night for a half hour, full beaver Moon last night, like you said, very bright.

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Anna, yes I knew it was a full 100% Moon,thats why I carried up my big arm scope and went out in the cold, cold air,lol and was lucky to get it on the 100%, again very small opening in the cloud cover, took over 100 shots to get a couple in focus because the clouds were going across it messing up the focus.

Watashi Alamo said...

Bob:

As usual, great moon shots. About Tycho, I see the rays of ejecta. The fact that they are on top of everything else - does that mean that the Tycho crater is younger than the others? Are rays like that unusual, or do other craters also have them?

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks watashi alamo, good questions, your right the whiter the ejecta the newer, Tycho is only 108 million years old, some craters are billions of years old! craters all have ejecta to some degree but Tycho as you can see went crazy with it ejecta as far as 2000 kms into the Sea of Serenity (the brown sea located next to the blue Sea of Tranquility top of the Moon on the saturated image) where the Apollo 17 landing site was, astronauts collected some ejecta samples and thats how they determined Tychos age more accurately.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

I love the saturated colors of the moon, Bob. I'm learning a lot from you. :D Your blog is fascinating!!!

Hugs, JJ

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JJ, glad you like this stuff!

Tatiana said...

Absolutely stunning captures of the moon Bob, and thanks for the info about the various parts of it :)
You were tagged by me, so please go and take the3 details from my latest post. Have a wonderful week ahead ;)

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Tatiana, I will take a look at your site.

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