astrophotographer Andrew McCarth captured it “GigaMoon”extremely detailed images of the Moon up to 1.3 gigapixels, assembled from 280,000 photos.
“My hard drive contains dozens of failed GigaMoon attempts. I have to monitor weather conditions that affect astronomy to keep up with the ever-changing conditions of the atmosphere.McϹarthy told PetaPixel.
The 1.3 gigapixel GigaMoon photo is a composite of 280,000 different photos.
GigaMoon image, 1.3 gigapixel, assembled from 280,000 different photos. (Photo: Andrew McCarthy).
McCarthy used a 28cm telescope with a 2.5x magnification system, giving a final focal length of 7000mm. The temperature difference between layers of the atmosphere can make the Moon blurry and shaky when photographed at this focal length.
“Even on a sunny day, the photo almost looks like it was taken in water because the atmosphere distorts the image. So I took about 2,000 photos at the same time with each part of the Moon“, explains McCarthy. After capturing a part, the photographer continued to photograph other parts to finally capture the entire Moon.
Despite the relatively good conditions, there were times when the skies weren’t optimal, so McCarth performed a double sweep of the full moon to get the sharpest images of all the other regions of each other. In total, he took 140 shots, 2,000 shots each, which equals a total of 280,000 photos.
The image is so detailed that it shows thousands of holes on the surface of the Moon.
The image is so detailed that it shows thousands of holes on the surface of the Moon. (Photo: Andrew McCarthy).
However, the equipment used for this process is monochrome and photographers should always shoot in color.
“For the color capture I used a 30cm Newtonian telescope fitted with a full frame CMOS camera to get high quality color data to add to the final image”McCarthy said.
In the end, assembling all the images and color data into a final image is an even more complex task, requiring a lot of computing power.
“I incorporated the ‘drizzle’ into the image, which meant I had software that interpolated data between pixels to create a higher resolution image from the original batch of images that overlapped, this process takes a few days”said the photographer.
Once this process is complete, the regions of the Moon are manually stitched together in Photoshop. During assembly, McCarthy also adjusted the orientation of the images to compensate for the change in angle of the Moon during filming.
After a few days of stitching together images, new photographers get to familiar steps like adjusting contrast and color. McCarthy had to cut the image into pieces so that the computer could process this extremely heavy image.
“The image was cut into pieces and reassembled 10-15 times, to ensure that the final product looks perfect overall, even when magnified.”he said, adding that the computer crashed at least a dozen times while making GigaMoon.
Article Source: Zing
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Astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy captured “GigaMoon”, an extremely detailed image of the Moon at up to 1.3 gigapixels, combined from 280,000 images. “Hard disk…