Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2007 July 28
Explanation: The brilliant full Moon might not look quite like this to skygazers next Monday, but the image is a mosaic of 18 digital frames recorded when the Moon was only about seven hours past its exact full phase or time of maximum illumination as viewed from Earth. Here, the pixel values corresponding to light and dark areas have been translated in reverse, or inverted, producing a false-colour representation reminiscent of a black and white photographic negative. Normally bright rays from the large crater Tycho dominate the southern (bottom) features as easily followed dark lines emanating from the 85 kilometre diameter impact site. Normally dark lunar mare appear light and silvery. Traditionally, astronomical images recorded on photographic plates were directly examined in this negative colour scheme, which can help the eye pick out faint details.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.