Thursday 17 October 2013

Observing the Moon

The moon at approx. x55 - Tycho Crater prominent.

It's a long time since I looked properly at the moon, and a clear night enabled me to test out my spotting scope properly (!) and also attempt some astronomical photography with my mobile phone (!!). 

Two nights in a row I got some observing done, using my wheelie bin as a base for the rather small tripod the scope came with. 

I found, much against expectation, that I was able to get a good, reasonably sharp, lunar view at all magnifications in the scope, although the x60 view lost a fair bit of brightens. Craters around the terminator, such as Schikard, were easy to see, as were the bright craters Tycho, Copernicus and Aristarchus, and the dark floored Plato in its distinctive site in uplands. However, any normal craters away from the terminator were indistinct. 

As for my photography efforts, well, the fact that the effort above was the best I could get, speaks volumes. It's difficult enough for a twitchy character like me to even get the moon's view in the eyepiece, into the camera view on my mobile phone, but to to then get a stable, in focus, decently exposed shot is all but impossible.

Perhaps there is an android app that will help this process, but perhaps, the results with this rig are not worth the effort. However, lunar photography through my 6inch reflector will produce more worthwhile results.

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