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Emily LakdawallaApril 1, 2011

Lovely giant full Moon photo

Here's a photo worthy of hanging on the wall: a gorgeous, 4000-pixel-square portrait of the full Moon captured by Rolf Hempel from Germany on the night of the "Supermoon."

Full Moon (enhanced color)

Rolf Hempel

Full Moon (enhanced color)
The full Moon on March 19, 2011 coincided with the Moon being at its orbital perigee, an uncommon coincidence that made it appear (slightly) larger and brighter than most full Moons. Rolf Hempel took advantage of this "Supermoon" apparition and clear skies over Germany to capture this spectacularly detailed portrait.

Full Moon (enhanced color)

Rolf Hempel

Full Moon (enhanced color)
The full Moon on March 19, 2011 coincided with the Moon being at its orbital perigee, an uncommon coincidence that made it appear (slightly) larger and brighter than most full Moons. Rolf Hempel took advantage of this "Supermoon" apparition and clear skies over Germany to capture this spectacularly detailed portrait.

Hempel explains at the DLR blog (the link takes you to an English translation; here is the original German) how he captured this photo, which is a mosaic of four footprints. Among other things, he extended the normal 1200-millimeter focal length of his lens to 3750 millimeters with intermediate optics; he captured a total of 400 photos through clear but turbulent air and then stacked them to improve the image's sharpness; and he enhanced the color to bring out the contrast between the blue, titanium-rich basalts and the brown, titanium-poor basalts.

Read more: pretty pictures, global views, amateur astrophotos, the Moon

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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