We have seen some beautiful images of the moon over the years thanks to high-efficiency imaging tools from NASA and other space agencies, but you don't need a massive observatory just to create a beautiful image of Earth's closest neighbor. Photographer Andrew McCarthy produced the amazing moon image you see above (and here in full resolution) using a Sony camera and a standalone ZWO astronomy camera that you can buy yourself for under $ 300.
The catch? Now the picture is not a single photo, but the result of approx. 50,000 individual images snapped, studied and then sewn together. It is a lot of work for a single image, but the result suggests that it was more than worth it.
There is plenty of detail in the final 81
"The bright side of the moon was treated using 25" tiles "that were sewn together in Photoshop," McCarthy told PetaPixel. "Every" tile "was a stack of the best 50 percent of 2000 images taken with ZWO. The dark side is about 13 tiles, each with the best of about 50 images. The stars were captured with a stack of 50 shots with Sony."
The resulting image was then tweaked for contrast until McCarthy was satisfied with his appearance. The image is sharp enough to see lots of small features on the moon's surface while balancing both the illuminated and shady sides so we can see as much as possible.