Russell Croman Astrophotography  



The Aristarchus Plateau

About This Photograph

Normally, we think of the moon as fairly colorless, especially in comparison to the Earth. But the moon is not entirely without color, as this image of the Aristarchus Plateau region shows. The plateau itself is the roughly rectangular brownish region at the center of the picture. It is punctuated by the bright young crater Aristarchus, and the older, lava-filled crater Herodotus. The feature starting to the right of Herodotus and meandering across the plateau is Schroter's Valley, possibly a collapsed lava tube or ancient lava flow. The plateau apparently gets its color from an iron-rich material spewed out onto it by volcanic activity.

Other areas of the moon also show some color, as can been seen in the full-moon image here.

This image appeared as Astronomy Picture of the Day on 13 September 2002.


Technical Details

Optics:Meade 10” f/10 LX200GPS UHTC at f/28 with 18mm eyepiece projection.
Camera:Canon D60.
Dates/Times:20 August 2002.
Location:my backyard observatory in Austin, Texas.
Exposure Details:17x1sec.
Processing:MaxImDL (align, combine), AIP4WIN (deconvolution), Photoshop (levels, curves, etc.).


Publication Data for this Photograph

Date Publication Type
2002-09-13 NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day Web Site