The image above, click it for a wallpaper sized version, is a composite of 15 exposures digitally stitched together. According to photographer Noel Carboni:
Looking through the viewfinder I swept across the surface in a zig-zag fashion, trying for about 1/3 overlap between frames. I triggered the shutter with my TC80-N3 remote timer/controller. I did the stitching by hand in Photoshop.
Since it was taken at the camera’s most noise-free setting (ISO 100), the data is very accurate, and thus I was able to strongly increase the saturation via Photoshop’s Image – Adjust – Hue/Saturation function.
The fascinating color differences along the lunar surface are real, though highly exaggerated, corresponding to regions with different chemical compositions. And while these color differences are not visible to the eye even with a telescope, moon watchers can still see a dramatic lunar presentation tonight thanks to a fluke of orbital mechanics that brings the moon closer to Earth than that it has been in more than 18 years. At its peak, the supermoon of March 2011 may appear 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than lesser full moons. However, to the casual observer, it will probably be hard to tell the difference.