The Moon in Enhanced Color

SEP 22, 2010

The Moon seems basically white as we look at it high in the night sky. But, it actually has a varied mineral composition that produces a variety of colors---it's just that the color variations are too subtle for our human eyes. But, one can take a color picture of the Moon and then enhance the colors in software to reveal the varying colors and hence composition of the Moon's craters and maria. In this picture, areas that are blueish are high in titanium oxide. Scientists do not yet fully understand why large areas of lava flow are rich in titanium oxide. The answer will surely contain clues about the origin of the Moon and perhaps the Earth as well.