Not sure if the Adirondacks will be clearing up for this event tonight (September 22), but tonight astronomers around the world will be looking up at the moon. This years International Observe The Moon Night (InOMN) is in memory of the late Neil Armstrong. His families wishes is for you to wink at the moon in honor of Neil Armstrong tonight, and any night you may see the moon in the sky.
On Sunday, September 2, I went out with my telescope, Orion Starshoot USB Eyepiece, laptop, and a very long lead-cord to share my live view of the Moon on Google+ as a test to see if I could in fact share the view. I invited many people, but only a few showed up which I’m guessing it was because it was almost midnight. I did stay on sharing the views until about 3am on Monday morning when I decided to sign off, and hook up the Canon 350D to capture some images of the moon.
Since I was unable to get out on the night of the Blue Moon I figured I’d get some images of the Moon, and still dedicate it to the great man, Neil Armstrong. The image above is 53 single images stacked in Registax and edited in Photoshop.
The image below, although blurry, is Mare Tranquillitatis, which is Latin for Sea of Tranquility.
We all enjoy a good deep space object, imaging gaseous regions responsible for the birth of stars within our galaxy; we also love imaging galaxies that host
millions billions of stars which could also host planets that in turn could host Earth like planets, and you can’t forget about the beautiful explosions of a star forming a planetary nebula. Unfortunately imaging all those objects becomes quite difficult with the bright moon. So what does an astronomer do when the moon becomes too bright and washes out the dim little fuzzies within, or outside of our galaxy? Well it’s simple really, we image our closest and brightest object, the Moon, or planets if they are visible from your viewing location.
I have found a great joy in capturing the moon and bringing out the detail of the craters along the terminator, and even along the brightly lit surface. This image is of the 88% Waxing Gibbous Moon on the night of July 29, 2012 as it was near the meridian from my front yard. I managed to get 50 images, 48 of the best images were used to stack and create the image above.
Equipment: Omni XLT 150 on a CG-4 tripod with RA and DEC motor, Canon 350D, and t-ring and adapter for prime focus imaging.
Tonight’s waxing crescent moon is up to 36% compared to two days ago at only 15%. I had just enough break in the clouds, and time before it went below the trees on the horizon to get out and get some shots of it again tonight. This is a total of 45 images stacked in Registax, and post processed in Photoshop. Omni XLT 150 and Canon 350D prime focus.
My favorite features when looking at the moon are the craters along the terminator. For those that don’t know, the terminator is the shadow along the moon. I especially like the craters along the terminator that the ridge is illuminated while the rest of the crater is immersed in shadow.
The night of March 31st to the morning of April 1st I captured many images of the stars to make a time-lapse. I haven’t put one of these together since January, so I figured I’d have another go at it.
I set my camera up in my backyard next to my fence and had to aim over it along with the neighbors roof. Started capturing images around 8:30pm, and turned it off right before I headed to bed at around 3:30am. Each shot I took was at an exposure of 15seconds, ISO 400, and F3.1 with the intervalometer set to take a picture every 15 seconds. This is a bit different on how I usually do them, and I’m very pleased with how smooth it turned out.
Although the bright moon passes in my view, the video stars with Venus and Orion setting ends with Leo taking a nose dive towards the horizon. The bright orange “star” near the end, in Leo, is not a star, but is Mars.
The quality of the video is much better than the quality of this single frame youtube selected as the video image. So click play, select 720 or 1080, make full screen and enjoy 7 hours of star movement from the comfort of your computer chair in less than 30 seconds.