Lunar World Record Mosaic.

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Lunar World Record Mosaic.

Post by Trevor »

Imaging Team Achieve World Record Image

An incredibly ambitious project to create the largest ground-based mosaic image of the Moon, and enter the Guinness Book of Records, has finally delivered a staggering final shot.

A team of people, comprising of some of the world's foremost astro imagers, gathered at the home of Sir Patrick Moore in April this year. Armed with a barrage of Celestron SCT scopes and Lumenera cameras they have created an image which has eclipsed any other so far taken of the Moon by ground-based astronomers.

The aim was to image the Moon at very high focal lengths using high frame-rate planetary cameras attached to numerous large amateur telescopes. Each telescope would take an image of a small section of the lunar surface at high resolution and these would be assembled, like a giant jigsaw puzzle, into a complete image of the 9-day old Moon.

The team submitted close to 1000 panes from the individual image runs, with close to 1.2 million frames of video captured, totalling 1.1 terabytes of data. These image panes were individually stitched by each team member who then submitted their region to David Mason for final compositing into the final image. The images which make up the final master were selected based on their overall quality.

A significant amount of overlap was used. In total, the image shown here utilises a total of 288 high resolution panes. The end result is a high resolution 87.4 megapixel image of the Moon, larger even then previous images taken by some of the world's largest observatories, allowing features as small as 1km to be clearly seen.

The imaging team saw the likes of Damian Peach, Pete Lawrence, Dave Tyler, Bruce Kingsley, Nick Smith, and more, work in sync on assigned segments of the Moon from Sir Patrick Moore's Selsey home and locations around the UK.

"This is a monumental image, worthy of the IYA, and our way of honouring Sir Patrick's incredible work in mapping the Moon for the Russian and American Moon missions in the 1960s, on this, the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing", says Nick Howes, who is part of the imaging team, and came up with the original plan for the record attempt. "To have secured, and been successful with such an immense pool of imaging talent for this is a real thrill, and to be allowed to attempt it from Sir Patrick's garden only added to the excitement.

"This was a huge team effort with every single person playing a vital part", continues Nick, "additional imaging was done by Trevor Little, with David Mason, Mark Irving and Lea Irving working on other aspects of the imaging at lower focal ratios, which provided invaluable backup to the image. Special mention must go to David Mason for his amazing work on compositing the whole lot together, as even though the team were using similar equipment, differences in seeing and camera orientation made stitching the 425MB final image in Photoshop a real challenge."

Ninian Boyle, of Venturescope, and a regular contributor to Sky at Night Magazine, coordinated the team in Selsey on the night, and gave invaluable technical assistance throughout.

Guinness World Records will be presenting the team with their certificates in due course, along with a certificate to Sir Patrick for his world record as the longest running television presenter.

All proceeds from the use of the final image, which is already being mooted for use at various planetariums around the UK, and which will be available to view and purchase at will be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, a charity designated by Sir Patrick, with all team members contributing their time for free.
Last edited by Trevor on Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
mike a feist
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Post by mike a feist »

Hello Trevor
I could not open the webpage you mentioned. maf
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Post by Trevor »

Try in now Mike.

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Post by 12dstring »

It's not working for me either :(

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Post by Trevor »

Just checked both link’s and they seem to be working fine, please try now.
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Post by joe »

Works fine for me although I'm still waiting on a zoomed-in image to sharpen.
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Steve Young
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Post by Steve Young »

Believe me, it's worth the wait. This is a stunningly good image from a great project.
Congratulations to all involved, it's an inspiration, particularly to beginners like me, to keep on trying
Paul Freeman
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Lunar Mosaic Project

Post by Paul Freeman »

Great project and excellent result. Well done to all concerned!
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Post by nickh »

Thank you everyone.

It was a mammoth job, and each team member individually processed a region, which was then submitted (along with the raw data images) to one team member to compile into the final image.
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Post by Trevor »

Just a quick up-date the website has been updated with Press Links to BBC footage of the presentation and Charlie Duke, Apollo 16 Lunar Module Pilot has left us a few very kind words :D
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Post by Trevor »

A copy of the World Record Lunar image (one of only 3 signed copies on canvas) signed by all the team & Sir Patrick Moore is up for sale on ebay....

All proceeds from the auction will be going to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, so even if you don’t actually want it for yourself, please let as many people as you can know about it & hopefully we’ll raise lots of money for CFT :D ... 0334910178
brian livesey
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Post by brian livesey »

The lunar surface was imaged in great detail by the Lunar Orbiters back in the '60s. Moon-zooming doesn't get much better than this: .
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Re: Lunar World Record Mosaic.

Post by mikemarotta »

Failure mode here as well.

They had the link wrong. It is dot org, not dot com.
An official press pack is available by contacting Press at
For all enquiries relating to the project, including requests for full-resolution downloads, please contact
Fundraising at
If you wish to download a full-resolution lunar image, please ensure that you have made a donation of at least [??] 10 before contacting us. We can then simply check the justgiving website and send you the details.
[I assume that is GBP 10.]

The Lunar World Record website is designed and maintained by Mark Irving of MJICCS. For any technical queries, please contact mark at
Michael E. Marotta
Editor - History of Astronomy Division
American Astronomical Society
Explore Scientific 102 mm Refractor
National Geographic 70 mm Refractor
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