World record Moon image

Image of the Moon

This image of the Moon was made by piecing together almost 300 individual frames, resulting in one of the best lunar images ever made by Earth-bound astronomers.

  • Best image of the Moon
  • Over 1 million frames collected
  • Best frames selected and joined

A team of some of the world’s foremost astro imagers has completed one of the biggest and best images of the Moon made.

Using specialist astronomy video cameras along with high-end amateur telescopes and special software, their image has eclipsed any other so far taken of the Moon by ground-based astronomers.

A team of people, comprising of some of the world’s foremost astro imagers, gathered at the home of Sir Patrick Moore in April this year. Using specialist astronomy cameras with high-end amateur telescopes and special software to compile and mosaic the frames, they have created an image which has eclipsed any other so far taken of the Moon by ground-based astronomers.

The full-size image can be downloaded from the Lunar World Record web site.

Like a giant jigsaw

Each astrophotographer took an image of a small section of the lunar surface at high resolution. The individual images were then assembled, like a giant jigsaw puzzle, into a complete image of the nine-day-old Moon.

The team submitted close to 1,000 panes from the individual image runs, with close to 1.2 million frames of video captured, totalling 1.1 terabytes of data. The image panes were individually “stitched together” by each team member who then submitted their region for inclusion in the final image.

Nick Howes and Sir Patrick Moore

Nick Howes, who came up with the idea for the image, and Sir Patrick Moore, host of the BBC's Sky at Night programme.

The images that make up the final master were selected based on their overall quality. A significant amount of overlap was used. In total, the image utilises 288 high-resolution panes.

The end result is a high-resolution 87.4 megapixel image of the Moon, bigger even then previous images taken by some of the world’s largest observatories, allowing features as small as 1km to be clearly seen.

Proceeds to charity

The imaging team saw the likes of Damian Peach, Pete Lawrence, Dave Tyler, Bruce Kingsley, Nick Smith, and more, work in sync on assigned segments of the Moon from Sir Patrick Moore’s Selsey home and locations around the UK.

Sir Patrick is well-known to astronomers worldwide as host of the BBC’s Sky at Night television programme.

“This is a monumental image, worthy of the International Year of Astronomy 2009, and our way of honouring Sir Patrick’s incredible work in mapping the Moon for the Russian and American Moon missions in the 1960s, on this, the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing”, says Nick Howes, who is part of the imaging team, and came up with the original plan for the record attempt.

All proceeds from the image—which is already being mooted for use at various planetariums around the UK, and which will be available to view and purchase from the Lunar World Record website—will be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, a charity designated by Sir Patrick, with all team members contributing their time for free.

Web site: Lunar World Record

Adapted from information issued by Lunar World Record.

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