Howling at the Moon, 5

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5/28/2012: I have neglected the Moon for a long, long time. It's been almost two years since I added anything here, and while I have occasionally imaged the rocky part of the sky, it's been by way of experimentation. So is this image, but it was a reasonably successful experiment. I wanted to know how my recent solar experiences would apply to the Moon. Stacking only data filets of the best frames and isolating a relatively narrow spectral region to impove both focus and seeing work with the Moon, too.

This is my second try at a walking tour of the lunar terminator. It's a panorama made up from five or six video clips, each stacked for sharpness. In some areas, 300-400 frames out of about a thousand comprise the finished image; in others, 160 from 400 -- always about 40% of the total. Yesterday's try ("terminator") had an irritating gap about mid-Moon, so I tried again ("terminator 2"). I guarantee there will be a sequel, because I unaccountably failed to get the polar region beyong Plato and the Alpine Valley. I thought I'd shot it first, but I hadn't, and after some clouds moved in and moved on, I didn't get all the way back down there.

Anyway, I captured ~10,000 frames through a 5" F6 A-P refractor, a 2x Barlow, and a Baader continuum filter using a Point Grey Chameleon camera. Exposures were 60ms with 9db of gain. I picked the best clips and then the best frames from the best clips. The panorama is presented here at 1/2 of full scale. The elevation was a little low, the Moon a little smokey, but the air was reasonably still. I've probably sharpened it a tidge too much; next time we'll do better in a handful of ways.

For now, be my guest. Enjoy a scroll on the Moon:


terminator 2


Next time, we'll try this with the 10-inch Ritchey, a more generous image scale, and I'll be sure to get it from pole to pole.

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                   © 2010, David Cortner