They shot for the moon — 200,000 times.
Using technology known as “photo stitching,” the pair combined over 200,000 photos of the moon into one.
McCarthy said the image amounted to a 174 megapixel shot.
“This is the highest resolution shot of the moon I have ever taken,” Matherne posted.
Photo stitching is a technique that involves connecting images together to create a larger field of view.
Though the fundamental technique has been around since the dawn of photography, high-powered computers and digital imaging now allow it to be done seamlessly and with astounding precision.
In an interview with NPR, McCarthy said the pair captured over 200,000 frames to complete the lunar image.
“The whole thing is assembled like a mosaic, and each tile is made up of thousands of photos,” he said.
The pair split up their duties, with McCarthy setting out to capture raw detail, and Matherne capturing the image’s unique color.
“Combined, we ended up with an incredibly detailed photo of our lunar neighbor in stunning color,” Matherne posted to instagram.
McCarthy has dubbed the image “The Hunt for Artemis,” which he called a “collaborative tribute” to NASA’s upcoming Artemis I mission.
The prelude to a return to the moon — culminating in a crewed mission named Artemis III — the first Artemis mission will send three test dummies around the moon in a distant lunar orbit for several weeks, before returning for a Pacific Ocean splashdown.
Artemis III is tentatively scheduled for 2025, and will be the first crewed mission to the moon since Apollo 17 in 1972.