Category : The Moon

Harvest Full Moon

Decided to try and image the full harvest moon the other night. When the moon is so bright there is not much else you can image other than doing some Hydrogen Alpha imaging.

I decided to use my new Skywatcher 120ED DS Pro. It was taken with a William Optics 0.8 reducer, through an OIII filter and with my Atik 314L+ camera.

The moon was so bright I actually used a zero second exposure in Maxim DL. I took 20 frames and then stacked them in Maxim DL and then imported the image into FITS Liberator and performed a stretch. Then into Photoshop CS5 in order to manipulate the curves, levels and to add an Unsharp Mask.

Harvest Moon

Moon Images with 5x Powermate

I decided to try and push my Skywatcher ED80 Pro to it’s limit on the moon. I am really impressed with my Skywatcher ED80 Pro telescope, as it gives me some nice widefield views, and I also use a Williams Optics version 3 flattener 0.8 which gives me even more view.

The Skywatcher gives me nice views of the Sun, Moon and Deep Sky Objects. I think the only thing that an 80mm type scope is not good at is planetary imaging and small Deep Sky Objects, like the Ring Nebula or Eskimo Nebula.

I was a bit worried that my 80mm scope would not cope well at imaging the lunar surface close-up. But I was pleasantly surprised that I managed these images with the scope.

The setup included the 0.8 William Optics flattener/reducer together with my Televue 5x Powermate and the DMK21 CCD camera.

Focusing was tricky, as the moon looked liked it was underwater from the atmospheric turbulence. But once I had stacked the images using Registax (version 6 is now out) they looked a lot better.

This time I also took a flat image, by using my EL panel which I have encased between 2 A4 acrylic sheets. I took a 1 second snapshot in the IC Capture software in order to get the flat image. I then opened it up in Photoshop and checked the histogram, and it was about nearly dead centre.

For the first time I then used Registax to stack the frames of the AVI videos with a flat frame selected. The results were good, as my DMK21 camera seems to have lots of dust bunnies in it, but I think most DMK cameras must suffer from this problem.

Moon with Televue Powermate

Theophilius and Cyrillus lunar craters

Total Lunar Eclipse December 2010

Lunar Eclipse December 2010I was up nice and early today in the freezing conditions, even with a really bad cold to try and capture the total lunar eclipse . I put on several layers and headed out with my new Canon 550d camera on a tripod with a remote cable attached and my 300mm lens and a very large lens hood to try and keep the dew off of the lens.

A few minutes later and I was at a clearing off of the main road, so I could get the full horizon. I started taking a few photos, and then went for the new feature of Full HD videos on the 550d, which when I came home I used Windows Live Movie Maker to make the movie up and put it on YouTube.

Lunar EclipseI could see the moon clearly to begin with but once it was at totality I never saw it again as the low clouds covered the moon up. I began shooting at about 7.20am and finished around 7.45am GMT but even that short time was enough.

I was not that happy with the images, as even with a 300mm lens the moon still really looks small, I think you need a 600mm lens or a 2.0x converter if just using an SLR, but ideally you really need an 80mm refractor joined to the SLR to get a good image. Unfortunately I don’t get a good view of the western horizon with my permanent set up, but then again with the moon being at about 5 degrees above the horizon the local houses would have also stopped me using my telescope.

View the Lunar Eclipse YouTube video here.

Daytime Moon and Venus

Whilst away on holiday in Menorca for the week, was the chance to see and image the daytime showing of the Moon and Venus close together.

I would not have known about this had it been for me reading Sky at Night magazine in the plane a few days earlier.

I did not take my DSLR with me, so took this photography with my Lumix TZ7 camera instead. It was taken on the 11th September 2010 at 16:30 GMT (Menorca time 17:30).

Moon and Venus in Menorca 11th Sept 2010

I don’t know how many people in the UK saw this, as it may have been cloudy here at the time.

Moon and Venus

What great weather we have been having lately, could it be anything to do with there being no planes flying at the moment due to the icelandic volcano erruptions? After spending the day listening to talks, looking at telescopes and viewing trade stands at Kelling Heath I decided to come home and do some imaging.

The moon has been looking amazing at the moment in the blue twilight sky, unfortunately for me at the moment my west viewpoint is obstructed by my own house, so I snuck around the side of the house and managed to get this image below of the moon and venus on the bottom right.

f/4.5 1/10sec -2 exposure on a Canon 450D

The Moon and Venus

The same moon taken using my Canon 450D straight into an 80mm StarSky Refractor – 1/125 second exposure with a ISO400 setting.


Click on both images to enlarge them.

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