Click on image for larger version.

Our only natural satellite is a quarter of an Earth-diameter across, and thirty Earth-diameters away. It is made up of the same sort of material as the Earth, but it lacks a hefty iron core, so the Moon probably formed when a large planetoid struck the Earth and blew off a large amount of material four billion years ago.

In the top image (a mosaic of 9 frames), the Moon is six days old and about 40% illuminated. You can tell that sunlight is coming from the right, leaving the left side of the Moon in darkness (and that's all there is to the phases of the Moon; you are not seeing the Earth's shadow!).

Clicking on the top image at left will download a 1 megabyte version. The Full Resolution can be viewed here.

The bottom image is a high resolution mosaic of 6 frames that goes along the terminator of a 22 day-old moon less than a week before new moon). Be aware that the full resolution JPEG is around 4MB. The display was optimized for the region along the terminator. The smallest features are about a kilometer in size. Have fun walking on the moon.


20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/8.4
Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount
SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

  • Unsharp mask was applied to the final image.
  • Minimum credit line: (Top Image) Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF
    Minimum credit line: (Bottom Image) Jeff and Paul Neumann/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF

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    Updated: 05/02/2005