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What IS the color of the moon anyway?

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#1 azure1961p

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 10:45 AM

Go to different sources and you get diffetent answers...

Museum of Natural History has huge moon rocks and they are virtualy white with flecks of other colors and shades, etc . But it IS virtually white, or off white.

The telescopic moon agrees with the museums specimens - the most sunlit portions almost look like plaster of paris pitted with huge bubble craters as it catalyzed (the plaster that is)

The APOLLO 11 astronauts repeatedly commented on a COCOA color.
Brown?????

Then we have our hue intensified ccd images and in that case the moon is all colors (probably tne closest to the truth though well blended)


My own eyes and a trip to the museum tell me virtual white. The astronauts claiming to see cocoa though yields a few curious questions...

1. Does it REALLY appear cocoa when you are flying over it or indeed walking on it, but some how our atmosphere surpresses this hue for a bluer type moon?

2. Did the astronauts see a a cocoa shade as a result of the protective coatings over there visors and capsule/LM windows imparting a tinted cast over all they saw?

3. To Rick and Norme: Or is the cocoa so much lunar chicken deposits.


Thanks guys. To me its is probably one of the most sterile greys in nature. Perfect even. One of the beauties of our current technologies are the ability for our ccds with processing and gain settings to ring out some hues despite the "perfect" grey.

Pete

#2 David Knisely

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 03:03 PM

To me, visually, the moon's surface is various shades of gray to off-white. However, there are some subtle shades of other colors that can be seen depending on the illumination. Most prominent of these is "Wood's spot", a large diamond-shaped pale orangish-brown hued region found on the Aristarchus plateau northwest of that crater. It is most prominent under a high sun angle, which is one reason I still may look at the moon when it is near full phase. There are a number of small areas that also show faint orangish or reddish hues, although they are subtle (tend to be towards the edges of the maria). The maria also sometimes vary in color from flat dark gray to a sort of faint bluish "steel" gray. Clear skies to you.

#3 Rick Woods

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 06:49 PM

It's silvery. Haven't you heard the song? And, chicken deposits are more white than brown - yet more proof!

#4 penrodv12

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 01:58 PM

"Thanks guys. To me its is probably one of the most sterile greys in nature. Perfect even. One of the beauties of our current technologies are the ability for our ccds with processing and gain settings to ring out some hues despite the "perfect" grey."

I agree with the above...here is comparison (scroll to bottom of my post):

http://penrodvladyka...processing.html

#5 azure1961p

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 04:15 PM

Penrod, nice images and good testimony to the power of modern imaging and processing. Great work!

Pete

#6 blb

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 10:29 PM

I am not sure if these are real colors or the artificial enhancement of some very faint residual colors. What do you think?

#7 Kaelin

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 12:33 AM

Take your pick!

The Moon comes in a variety of tones from metallic grey to bright white.

The Moon also comes in a variety of colors:

It's pumpkin orange and harvest gold in Autumn; crimson red to coppery orange to burnt umber during a lunar eclipse;
pale blue to light lavender when seen through volcanic haze.

It's probably green in the minds of those who once thought it was made of cheese.

Shades of cocoa and mocha, of course, when viewed close-up, not only from astronauts' descriptions but with certain eyepieces at high-magnification.

But the trick to view the color of the Moon appears from playing with the saturation and luminance in a typical lunar photograph. At the link (below) once can learn how to digitally process the Moon in Photoshop:

http://www.atalaia.o...orofthemoon.htm

Looks like a neat way to see all the colors of the Moon!

#8 David Knisely

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 01:34 AM

I am not sure if these are real colors or the artificial enhancement of some very faint residual colors. What do you think?


The images I have seen of the moon that show vivid oranges, reds, blues, greens, etc. have clearly been enhanced far beyond what is reasonable (and thus do not represent what is seen visually with the eye). Any lunar color hues are very very pastel at best, as most of the moon's color are shades of gray to an off-white hue. If someone is doing research photometry with carefully calibrated narrow-band color filters, then enhanced images created using these band passes and expressed in colors may be useful for determining the locations of various surface materials. However, that isn't visual reality. Below is what my 35mm DSLR shows, and it is quite similar to what my eye sees:

Attached Files



#9 azure1961p

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 08:17 AM

An interesting thing is that the portions where aldrin mentions cocoa actually appear leaden violet in the photos of enhanced colors.

Pete

#10 C_Moon

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 11:28 AM

I just recently got to take a look at some of NASA's lunar samples and was struck by how dark the Maria samples were. Definitely looked like cocoa.

#11 blb

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 11:43 AM

...My own eyes and a trip to the museum tell me virtual white. The astronauts claiming to see cocoa though yields a few curious questions...

1. Does it REALLY appear cocoa when you are flying over it or indeed walking on it, but some how our atmosphere surpresses this hue for a bluer type moon?

2. Did the astronauts see a a cocoa shade as a result of the protective coatings over there visors and capsule/LM windows imparting a tinted cast over all they saw?

3. To Rick and Norme: Or is the cocoa so much lunar chicken deposits.

Pete


Pete, I think it probably was the tint in there visor. All of the photos that they took, that I have seen, do not show cocoa color. All whites and grays with black shadows. Of course they were film cameras and the colors could not be enhanced. ;)

#12 blb

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 11:54 AM

You know, false colors are not necessarily a bad thing. They may tell us a lot about geology, mineral content, etc. It is kind of like false color images of deep sky objects taken in something other than the visual spectrum of light. The only problem is that it is not what we see when we look at these objects.

#13 bassplayer142

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 07:58 PM

I remember seeing a moon rock at a museum. It was very small, but it appeared the grayish white you see when you look at it. Who knows though, if the object was viewed under fluorescent lights that could play heavy on the appearance.

#14 Sarkikos

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 11:52 AM

Pete,

Here are some interesting links about Lunar surface colors from the Moon Wiki:

Colored Regions on the Moon's surface (Part 1)

Colored Regions on the Moon's surface (Part 2)

Colored Regions on the Moon's Surface (Part 3)

Enjoy! :rainbow:

Mike

#15 ages0ne

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 04:14 PM

my vote goes to "bright"...


*wonders how long it'll be 'til we begin seeing lunarpanels*


clear skies to You ALL


--aaron

#16 contrailmaker

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 03:39 AM

Take a look at the Apollo Project Archive and also at the Lunar Sample Compendium. Lunar rocks have a large variety of diferent colors from greys to white to brown to almost black and even orange. Most of the samples that I have seen on exibit are fairly dark. I also have 8 specimens of lunar meteorites and they show a variety of colors from very dark greys to very light grey with white clasts (due to the mineral anorthosite). Mare lavas tend to be darker than highland rocks. Most of the bright grey prevalent on lunar mission photos is due to the intense direct sunlight washing out the colors. The close up pictures of footprints and shallow trenches show the soil to be mostly brown. Keep in mind that virtually everything on the lunar surface is covered by a layer of dust (regolith) most of which is various shades of grey and brown.

Here is a picture of a fragment of lunar meteorite NWA6355, a feldspathic breccia. This rock very closely matches the composition and appearance of some of the samples returned by Apollo 16. Note how dark the matrix material is. But even this dark rocks, when the outside is exposed to micrometeorite bombardment and the prevalent dust layer , appear bright grey under the intense sunlight of the lunar surface. Not so light under lesser illumination. The above references have many pictures showing the rocks on the lunar surface and then inside the laboratory. Sometimes the diference in color due to the level of illumination is drastic.

cm

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#17 junomike

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:08 AM

Need to resurrect and old thread for some possible answers. I've always thought of the Moon as a Black/Grey/White Orb and this is usually what's seen through my AT111EDT Apo as well as my C11 and most other scopes I've either owed or looked through.

However, my Intes M703D 7" F10 Mak shows different shades of Black, Grey and White, along with cream, dark greens, and browns similar to what's seen Here!

I actually prefer the Mak over any other scope for the Moon (larger or smaller) due to this, but because this isn't seen in other scopes, I'm trying to pinpoint the cause of It.

Coatings, Baffling, Glass?

NOTE: On Planets, the view Is Identical to most other scopes, only the Moon is different!

Mike

#18 Rutilus

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:03 PM

Mike - I tend to get the same thing with a couple of my scopes. I always see the strongest hues on the night of the
Full moon. I first noticed this with my 80mm f/7 Triplet APO when fitted with binoviewers at around 50x.

The other night I had the same experience with my Carton 100mmm f/13 Achro at 40x but this time without binoviewers.
I've also seen the same hues in my Tak 102mm f/8.

The colours and hues are very, similar to those in your link. Sometimes the blue/grey mare are very obvious,
and I also see very strong hues of olive/mustard around
Vallis Schroteri.






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