A bright, clear crescent Moon did shine down last night, and with a young man interested in seeing through the big scope, I stirred myself to grant his wish. While looking at the ancient surface, I noticed that the seeing was pretty good, so got the camera mounted for a few snaps.
There's nothing groundbreaking about a pic of the crescent Moon, of course, but it's always pleasing and never looks the same twice—unless you wait a long time and look at every possible opportunity. On this occasion though, there was a pinprick of light inside a large crater, evidence of day breaking upon a central mountain peak ... and who doesn't like a mountain sunrise?
The telescope is effectively acting as a 1200mm f8 long lens, which is pretty big on a crop sensor camera (Canon 40D). At ISO-400, the exposure would be reasonably short, except that I wanted to make the most of that little sunlit mountaintop, so took exposures of 1/13, 1/25, 1/50, 1/100 and 1/200 second, to get detail in both highlights and dark areas near the terminator (the day/night boundary). I then combined all 5 exposure levels to make an HDR image.
|The southern highlands, at top, appear more heavily cratered as they haven't been overlaid with lava,which process produced the dark 'seas' in the northern hemisphere.|
|Maurolycus, with central peak lit|
|The crater trio Catharina, Cyrillus and Theophilus, beside the Sea of Nectar|
|Sea of Tranquility; Apollo 11 site circled|