A Titanium Moon

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Winner of “Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year People’s Choice Award 2019“, this Full Moon image is a result of an high-resolution mosaic composed by four panels each one of 30 images combined together to reveal a sharp and detailed surface up to the lunar limb. Taken on 25th October 2018 from Cumeada Observatory in Dark Sky® Alqueva Reserve, the final image shows that the moon is more then a grey body as it is normally perceived by our human eye. The color of this RGB image have been slightly increased revelling a strange but even so, real appearance, corresponding to the differences in the chemical constitution of the lunar surface, as changes in mineral content can produce subtle color differences in reflected light. The blue hues that can be seen on the seas like “Mare Tranquillitatis”, or “Mare Fecunditatis” (right center and edge) are revelling rich areas in titanium. According to Hawai’s Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, the presence of this unusual titanium-rich layer was produced by the crystallization of a huge ocean of magma that surrounded the Moon when it formed. In the bottom center of the Moon, white stripes are radiating across the southern lunar highlands, coming from the 85 kilometer wide crater Tycho. Above it, in the left center, dark rays from Copernicus crater are extending into the “Mare Imbrium”. In the upper center edge and with a diameter of 51 kilometers, another bright but even small crater can be spotted. Named Anaxagoras, the crater interior has 3km and a relatively high albedo, making it a prominent feature when the Moon is full. In the past, multicolor images calibrated by rock samples from the Apollo missions, were recorded by Galileo and Celmentine spacecrafts and been used to explore the Moon’s global surface composition.

PT: Vencedora do “Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year People’s Choice Award 2019esta fotografia da Lua Cheia é o resultado de um mosaico de alta resolução composto por quatro painéis, cada um com 30 imagens combinadas, com a finalidade de revelar uma superfície nítida e detalhada até o limbo lunar. Captada a 25 de outubro de 2018, no Observatório da Cumeada, sede oficial da Reserva Dark Sky® Alqueva, a imagem final mostra que a Lua é mais do que um corpo cinzento, como é normalmente percepcionado pelo nosso olho humano. A saturação desta fotografia RGB foi aumentada ligeiramente, permitindo assim revelar uma aparência incomum mas ainda assim real, correspondente às diferenças na constituição química da superfície lunar, já que mudanças no conteúdo mineral podem produzir diferenças subtis de cor na luz refletida. As tonalidades de azul que podem ser vistas nos mares “Tranquillitatis” ou “Fecunditatis” (centro e extremo direito) revelam áreas ricas em titânio. De acordo com o Hawai’s Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, a presença dessa camada incomum rica em titânio foi produzida pela cristalização de um enorme oceano de magma que cercou a Lua quando ela se formou. No centro da Lua, faixas esbranquiçadas espalham-se de forma raiada pelas terras altas lunares do sul, vindas da cratera Tycho, com 85 quilómetros de largura. Acima, no centro esquerdo, as reentrâncias escuras e raiadas provenientes da cratera Copérnico, estendem-se até ao “Mare Imbrium”.  No extremo superior central e com um diâmetro de 51 quilómetros, pode ser vista outra cratera brilhante mas mais pequena. Chamada de Anaxagoras, o interior da cratera tem 3km e um albedo relativamente alto, tornando-se um alvo proeminente quando a Lua está cheia. No passado, imagens multi-coloridas calibradas por amostras de rochas das missões Apollo foram registadas pelas sondas espaciais Galileo e Celmentine e usadas para explorar a composição da superfície global da Lua.

Technical details | Detalhes Técnicos

Celestron C14 EDGE HD (XLT) | Nikon D810a | ISO400 – Exp. 1/800 | Mosaic of four panels composed by 30 images each. Processed on Registax and PS CC 2019. Cumeada Observatory from Dark Sky® Alqueva Reserve, Reguengos de Monsaraz.


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