Monday, April 18, 2011

My First Real Moon Pictures!

I finally got a clear night last night, and it couldn't have happened at a better time. I got some pretty good shots of a great full moon, and even a short video. I still have some kinks to figure out, but it's a learning process.
 


I've learned a good bit though, mostly what I still don't know and need to do. Number one is that the focusing is just a hair off, unfortunately the focal length is outside the range I can adjust to. Fixing that requires a $20 adapter piece, for a little ring of plastic.


Next, I am pretty bad at setting up my scope for tracking, so these pics are just quick still shots. When you have good tracking it is possible to stack images for more clarity and detail. I can also mess with contrast, exposure, brightness, gamma and all that other great stuff.


The Moon also happened to pass in front of a tree earlier in the night, making all sorts of fun trying to focus around.


The actual camera software has some neat (and kinda unnecessary but still cool) features. Messing around with it I really liked the TV mode (above) and inverted (below).


And now the actual footage of the moon that I shot. I had the telescope standing still and just let the Moon pass in front of the lens. I think it came out pretty well:

Sorry, there is no sound. Maybe in the future!
I tried to also get some shots of Saturn, it was near the Moon and easy to find in the night sky. I could visually see it with my eye piece, but the camera wasn't sensitive enough with all the light from the full moon and suburban life. So hopefully one day, if it's nice out on the new moon, it would be worth a shot.


BTW, this months full moon is known as the Full Pink Moon. It gets its name from moss pink, one of the first spring flowers to bloom. I think lately though, cherry blossoms have stolen the thunder, especially around here, the Cherry Blossom Festival is a big deal in DC and I definitely recommend it if you ever get the chance. Anyways, above is a hastily edited photo with Paint.Net, a great free photo editing software.

And in case you are wondering, I used my Meade ETX-80AC telescope, 
a moon filter, and the Orion StarShoot Solar System Color Imaging Camera IV.


17 comments:

The Lazy Geographer said...

Is the blur on the moon just from atmospheric haze or is that one of the kinks you are still working on?

Also, fun video. Consider your channel supported.

Astronomy Pirate said...

The blur is from the focusing issue I mentioned. The way the eye piece is set up, the camera lens can only get so close to the diagonal mirror. The adapter I need would take the diagonal mirror out of the equation, changing the focal length and putting the camera more in line with the lens. So, I can't get a completely focused picture yet. But hopefully within a month.

Also, it occurred to me that this focusing issue might have been what prevented me from seeing Saturn with the camera.

Lost.in.Idaho said...

Nice shots, and I can't wait to see more, once you get that little adapter.

And thanks to google sky maps, I'm finding more and more stars/planets when I look up. What fun!

kgp318 said...

Oh a pretty pink moon...awesome...even if it is edited! Nice video too...can't wait to be in a place that has better stars than I am right now :)

Grafted said...

I love the vid, and the pics are very nice, too

Shutterbug said...

Very nice! Great job! :D

LifeHacks said...

I didn't check out the video but the pics are great.

Jay said...

nice job! maybe you could describe the gear you used in your next post. :D

Zombie said...

I'll betcha plenty of people turned into werewolves that night! lol.

mac-and-me said...

Those are pretty good.

Kaneda said...

Good pics! Need to take some more myself...

Kim Anders said...

good pics! really nice!

Robert said...

although those are quick shots, they are really nice. Well done.

Banacek said...

I always thought the "full pink moon" involved me dropping my pants...

Rob said...

I love the moon, I despise when Rita sends monsters to attack me from it though (lol power rangers joke)

WanderingWriter said...

Nice footage, regardless of the issues you had.

pixel said...

nice work, sure you'll get the kinks worked out

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