I'm new to POTN and I have a Canon Digital Rebel XT that I have been using for astrophotography for about three years. A few nights ago I took some shots of the moon, mainly because the moon was so bright it was difficult to image anything else in the sky.
The next day I ran across this article on the internet by Filipe Alves describing a procedure for create color enhanced images of the moon, and I decided to give it a try. Here's the result:
This is not a "false color" or "mapped color" image. Those techniques use special filters or post-processing manipulation of the color channels in order to bring out specific aspects of the moon surface. This image instead shows the natural colors of the surface of the moon with enhanced color saturation.
The most difficult part of Filipe's process is achieving an accurate, natural color balance before applying the saturation increase. Without this step, you would be enhancing colors that aren't really there, and since a natural photo of the moon appears mostly gray to our eyes, care must be taken to balance the colors. There are many photos like this one posted on the internet and they display a pretty wide range of colors, mainly due to the somewhat subjective process of obtaining the initial color balance. In common, though, are the deep blue color seen in the Sea of Tranquility (above and left of center in this photo) and the predominance of blue and orange shades elsewhere, with varying amounts of green hues mixed in. According to NASA the blue areas have surface soils rich in titanium, while the light orange, yellow and green shades indicate surfaces poor in titanium but rich in iron. The red, deep orange and brown hues indicate surface composition low in metallic elements.
I made this image from 18 raw frames acquired with my stock Canon Digital Rebel XT wihout a lens. In place of the lens was an 8" f/4.9 newtonian reflector telescope (1,000 mm focal length). The raw frames were registered and stacked using Iris software, and the color balancing and saturation increase of the resulting image were done in Photoshop.