The Big Rock In Outer Space

The full Moon is so often ignored in astrophotography, but a full Moon does in fact yield a wealth of details about our nearest celestial neighbor. Taken just a few hours past full in January, this full Moon image was made from a three image mosaic taken with a 2750mm telescope connected to a DSLR camera (Canon EOS Ra and a Sky-Watcher Mak-Cass 180). This produced a large high resolution image that was then processed “gently” to tone down the overwhelming brightness so you could see the various features that the full Moon reveals so well. The rays and ejecta blankets, the different colors and materials of the Maria, and even the lunar highlands, especially along the southern limb show differences in brightness. Along the Eastern limb where the Sun is just grazing the lunar surface, the terrain stands out in stark relief. Along the south west you can just see the subtle elevation differences along the lunar limb as well, the Moon is not a smooth sphere. It is a beautiful, and “weathered” neighbor in space.

The Glories of the Full Moon are often neglected by astrophotographers. The Moon is actually my favorite visual target.