|Apparent size:||29.8 arc min .|
|Diameter:||3475 km (0.27 Earths).|
|Distance:||400,411 km. (1.34 light seconds).|
It was just one one of those nights when the sky was clear but the ten day old Moon was getting a bit too bright for deep sky imaging. Depressed by reading too much about the state of the world and the direction in which it has been heading, I needed to engage the broader Universe with some quiet time.
Time alone in the semi-darkness of my front driveway. Time to gaze at a night sky polluted by street lights and the Moon. Time to appreciate again my optical gear, which can punch through the murk, to expose some of our cosmic surrounds.
Time to view the Solar System.
Mars was overhead and Jupiter and Saturn together in the West – but I’ve already imaged all of three of them this year. So, interrupted only briefly by a neighbour wheeling his bins out and eager to share his latest news with me, I started off with the above Lunar image, before moving on to capture gas giant Uranus.
Due to swirling atmospheric conditions and moist air here on Earth, single shots of the Moon through a telescope can lack sharpness and are somewhat underwhelming. The solution is to take a short video, stack the best frames and discard the rest. In this instance I used Autostakkert to choose and stack the best forty frames out of 200 taken – and the resulting final image was quite sharp.
The improved quality of a stacked image permits some cropped views. The three images below show some interesting features and were derived from the main image.
|SkyWatcher Esprit 120 mm apochromatic 3-element refractor; 840 mm f/l @ f/7.|
|Field flattener; 2x Televue Powermate. ZWO Duo-band Hα (656nm) and OIII (500nm) filter.|
|SkyWatcher EQ6-R Pro mount; ZWO ASI120 guide camera.|
|Imaging camera: ZWO ASI 071 MC Pro (CMOS 28.4mm 16 Mpx).|
|Software: EQMOD, PHD2, SharpCap, Gimp.|
|Observatory location: 34° South.|
Images © Roger Powell
I’m a founder member of Macarthur Astronomical Society