Since the dawn of time, the moon has fascinated humans. Even though for the better part of our history it has been unattainable, ever since the first moon landing in 1969, 24 humans have visited the earth’s only natural satellite. While moon travels aren’t available for just anybody, there are other ways to explore it. One of those ways is through photography. Recently one such enthusiast went viral for his stunning photos of the moon’s surface that quickly were named the clearest photos of the luna ever seen.

More info: Instagram

Photographer Andrew McCarthy spent weeks creating probably the clearest photo of the moon’s surface we have ever seen

The photographer behind the immensely clear image of the moon’s craters is Andrew McCarthy, who loves to explore the universe from his backyard in Sacramento. Back in April, he posted one of his best snaps—a photo he titled “All terminator.” It took him 2 weeks to create the final result, as he had to combine thousands of photos of the waxing moon into one.

During the process, Andrew had to pick the most contrasting sections from photos taken from various moon phases and blend them into one. The result is unbelievably stunning and shows the moon’s surface like no other photos before.

“I haven’t posted in a while, partly because I was under the weather, and partly because I was working on this BEAST of a project. This moon might look a little funny to you, and that’s because it is an impossible scene. From 2 weeks of images of the waxing moon, I took the section of the picture that has the most contrast (right before the lunar terminator where shadows are the longest), aligned and blended them to show the rich texture across the entire surface. This was exhausting to say the least, namely because the moon doesn’t line up day over day, so each image had to be mapped to a 3d sphere and adjusted to make sure each image aligned. I may or may not try this again for the waning phases depending on feedback,” Andrew captioned the stunning photo.

Another of his photos of the moon was created by combining 20,000 photos into one

Later, he posted another impressive project that required combining 20,000 photos of the moon and reveals the universe that surrounds it.

“This image combines 20,000 photos that have been edited to reveal stars, colors, and the dark side of the moon, and then it was run through Artificial Intelligence algorithms to sharpen up details and eliminate noise, allowing me to turn this into a crystal clear 100 megapixel image of our celestial buddy.”