Astrophotography – solar system

A Great Big Thump

Came back from a nice family night out on Friday to a lovely clear view of 95%ish moon- had a lovely hour taking some pictures. After doing lots of DSO lately, where the pursuit of greater quality is leading to ever longer integration times it was nice to just wander round the disc of the moon and take (relatively) quick captures.

These are my 3 favourites- the same technique was used on all three- a one minute video using ASI224 camera, then Autostakkert to identify and stack the best 5% of frames and finally Pixinsight to crop and sharpen using the Multiscale tool (similar to Wavelets in Registax) and then tweak the levels.

First one is the Copernicus crater and associated impact debris. I tweaked the curves quite a lot to bring out the spoil from the impact. From Wikipedia, the crater itself is 93km wide, using the Pixel scale I make the main disk of debris around it 400km wide, whilst Wikipedia thinks the rays extend for twice that. That’s quite an impact!!!

Next up is another impact- here’s the smaller Proclus crater, with the rays of the impact spreading out over Mare Crisium:

Finally- here’s the Aristarchus Crater with Schroter’s Valley (which is the sinuous rille extending up from Aristarchus in the middle of the image) being really nicely illuminated on its southern wall.


Photos from penumbral lunar eclipse 10/1/2020, Lichfield, UK

A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth, and the Moon are imperfectly aligned. When this happens, the Earth blocks some of the Sun’s light from directly reaching the Moon’s surface and covers all or part of the Moon with the outer part of its shadow, also known as the penumbra.

Last night, such an eclipse was visible from the UK.

Below are 2 photos taken at around maximum eclipse @ 19:10 and 19:25 on 10/1/2020.

Sony A58 DSLR camera with 300mm lens, single frames.




Hale-Bopp, the last Great Comet

On the subject of heavenly portents,staring at the wall near my computer, I noticed that I had a mounted picture of Hale-Bopp, the last “Great Comet” that I took on 26/03/1997. This was the pre-digital photography age, at least as far as I was concerned! I noted it was a 60 second exposure at f/1.8 on 400 ASA film. We could do so much better these days! So, I took the picture down and scanned it. Here it is:

Now after a bit of GIMPery to reduce the star trails and the light pollution (it was all low-pressure sodium lighting in those days), we get this:

And here it is with a bit of detail processing:

Wonder when we will get another comet as good as this one?