What colour is the moon? Looked at from Earth, it’s brilliantly white, coldly luminous, silver to the sun’s gold. Looked at from closer — such as when Neil Armstrong emerged on to its surface 50 years ago — a drabber picture emerges.

The moon is asphalt-grey; its landscape may be one of “magnificent desolation”, as Armstrong’s fellow moonwalker Buzz Aldrin put it, but it’s rendered in charcoal.

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