Mineral Moon

June 03, 2008

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Provided and copyright by: Alan Tough, SIGMA - Moray's Astronomy Club
Summary author: Alan Tough

Images of the Moon taken with modern digital cameras actually contain a lot of color information which, when enhanced with image processing software, make it possible for scientists to learn a great deal about the geological history and chemical composition of Earth's lone natural satellite. For example, in this enhanced image, the blue color in Mare Tranquillitatis (Sea of Tranquility), in the upper-center of the image, is due to the presence of titanium-rich basalts. To the left, in Mare Serenitatis (Sea Of Serenity), the yellow-brown color indicates iron-rich lavas. The dark yellow diamond-shaped Aristarchus plateau, seen in the mid-left of the image, is thought to be covered with a type of orange glass! Measured in geological timescales, recent impact ejecta appear bright or lighter in color than the mare areas. Full Moon photo taken on December 24, 2007 from Elgin, Moray, Scotland.

Photo details: Sky-Watcher Evostar-100ED Pro f/9 refractor telescope, Canon EOS 300D camera at prime focus, exposure of 40 x 1/500 seconds, ISO-200.