October 1st 86% Waxing Gibbous Moon

A few shots of the October 1st 86% Waxing Gibbous Moon. These images were taken with the Celestron 8″ SCT, Canon T3i, using a 25mm eyepiece in my Orion Variable Universal Camera Adapter. Using the adapter I’m able to get more magnification. I am still in the process of testing this item which I’ve had since 2012, and only now am using. This is the second time I’ve used this. When I first received the adapter I used it on some sunspots with my 6″ Newtonian, which you can see here.

This section of the moon is Mare Humorum (The Sea of Moisture) with the large crater named Gassendi. This area was not sampled by the Apollo missions, so an exact date on its age is not known, but it is estimated to be around 3.9 billion years old determined by geological mapping. 

Mare Humorum and Crater Gassendi

This next picture is of Tycho Crater and the surrounding areas. Tycho crater is a relatively young crater on the moon at around 108 million years old. The age of the crater suggests that it was formed by a member of the Baptistina family of asteroids, but this is only conjecture. This crater is relatively easy to spot on the moon especially given its unique ray like features extending from it, some of which extend 1500km (932mi). The central peak in Tycho is 2km (6562ft) above the crater floor.

Tycho Crater

Tycho Crater

Images were formed by 30 second videos of each section, and then all editing was done in Registax 6. These took forever to edit since I’m running Registax via WINE in Linux. Still working on a less time consuming method to edit Lunar and/or planetary images in Linux. If it is possible in PixInsight then I have not figured it out yet.

55% Moon in Daylight July 05, 2014

During the daylight hours I was attempting to get images of the moon since I had the scope still setup and aligned from the night before. My backyard is absolutely filled with trees and my view to the south is about 1%, and that’s between leaves. I was able to get a quick snap of the moon as I watched with my eye up against the cameras eyepiece, snapping pictures as the wind would move the branches of the trees. I took at least 30 shots in the course of an hour, but only one was clear enough to use.

55% Moon from July 05, 2014

Some of the craters along the terminator are Plato, Montes Caucasus, Aristillus, Montes Alpes, Ptolemaeus, Arzachel, Purbach, Tycho, Maginus, and Clavius.

92% Waning Gibbous Moon Terminator

I got out with my little Logitech C250 webcam and my 3x barlow to capture 19 videos of the moon along it’s terminator. I brought the videos into Registax to stack, and then into Microsoft ICE to stitch them together in the panorama below. I was unable to get all of the terminator, but this is pretty close to all of it.

Warning: Image below is very large, may be easier seen if you right click and open in new tab, or window as the window it pops open in is hard to navigate to see the full image.

Terminator of 92% Waning Gibbous Moon

Terminator of 92% Waning Gibbous Moon

35% Waxing Crescent Moon

On St. Patricks Day I went out with the scope during daylight hours, about an hour before sunset, and got some images of the moon to stack. I love the way the moon looks with a blue background, which seems to make the moon pop out a bit more. It’s definitely less blinding to look at during the day than it is at night.

35% Waxing Gibbous 03-17-13

This stack is 120 images stacked in AutoStakkert2!, with sharpening done in Registax using Wavelets, then finally brought into Photoshop for some final touches.

The three craters in this video are Thophilus, Cyrillus, and Catharina. Using my Logitech C250 Webcam and my 3x barlow lens, which I’m guessing get’s me roughly in the 350-375x magnification range, pushing the limits of my scope. One thing I noticed while doing this in the daylight is that I really need to clean the mirrors in my telescope. Look at all that dirt, and dog hair!

Omni XLT 150 with CG-4 mount
Canon 350D
T-ring and adapter
Polar Scope for alignment

93% Waxing Gibbous Moon – 10-26-12

I haven’t posted much lately, mostly due to the clouds that have taken over the Adirondacks. I did get a clear night a few days before Halloween, and I also got my Logitech C250 webcam which I got to try out that night. I got it setup so I can attempt planetary, but clouds have gotten in the way of this. I happened to get the moon in about 11 sections, then stitched them together to create a moon Mosaic. I’m not extremely happy with the way it turned out, I still have a bit of playing around to do to get it down, but I figure I’ll share what I did come up with. I do notice that with my DSLR taking a full image of the moon after cropping I get an image that is roughly 1173×1095, and with the webcam making a mosaic the full image is roughly 1565×1756, so there is a benefit to doing this with the webcam, now I just have to master the capturing, stitching, and editing of the image to get a final result. I bit more work in the process, but the final image is much larger.


Above is two images of what needs to be done to set up a webcam for imaging through a telescope. This will come in very handy for live streaming via Google+ of the moon and planets. May also be good to show off some sunspots during the day. If you’re on G+ please feel free to follow me there: Mike Rector or on Twitter: @AdirondackAstro where I will share links to any live videos, or previously recorded ones.

One other thing I notice is that no matter how well I focus, craters and detail on the moon just aren’t as sharp as they are with the DSLR. Even when editing the videos in Registax, the sharpness seems to be a bit soft. Like I said though, some more playing around may give me better results. For such a cheap webcam, can be found between $5-$10 dollars on Amazon (click through the link on the sidebar), I really can’t complain. I’m looking forward to getting some Jupiter images this winter.

93% Waxing Gibbous Moon Mosaic - 10-26-12

Image above was taken with the webcam in 11 sections, stacked in registax, stitched together in Hugin, and then brought back into registax to adjust the wavelets to sharpen up some of the details. As you can see there are some issue with a few sections of the craters, and just an overall softness that I’d like to try to get rid of for my next moon mosaic. All programs mentioned are free.