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.




Re-processing Moon image in Registax

Roger has very kindly reprocessed my recent Moon image in Registax for me.

He comments: “I actually usually find “wavelets” in Registax more useful for sharpening, at least initially.”

QHY10 camera, Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 80mm OTA, TS OAG/flip mirror, Lichfield, August 2019, Andrew Thornett/extra processing by Roger Samworth.


This post follows on from my previous post:

Applying Lucy-Richardson sharpening in GIMP to my previous Moon image

My original Moon image:

Roger’s reprocessed image in Registax:

Settings Roger used on Registax:

Applying Lucy-Richardson sharpening in GIMP to my previous Moon image

Had a go at applying small amount of Lucy-Richardson sharpening in GIMP (in G’Mic plug-in) to my previous lunar image – let me know if you think it is an improvement or not…..

[How to find this filter: After installing G’Mic plug-in into GIMP, click on “Filters” in GIMP. GMIC should appear at the bottom of the drop-down list. Click on that.]


Taking my first successful focused photo of a celestial object with QHY10 camera and Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 80mm/TS OAG-flip mirror – photographing full moon 16/8/19

Having successfully obtained focus with the QHY10/Equinox 80/TS OAG-flip mirror, I was then able to also obtain my first “proper” image of a celestial object using the QHY10 camera.

Successfully achieving focus & noting the focal point on Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 80mm OTA on Manfrotto mount with QHY10 camera and TS off axis guider/flip mirror 15/8/2019

The extensive cloud cover meant that the only object available was the full Moon which was able to penetrate the clouds. To photograph this, I had to use the lowest shutter speed setting possible of 1/10000 second and also using an aperture mask to reduce the aperture of the Equinox 80mm OTA by about 70% and the clouds further reduced the brightness of the Moon!! I don’t think the QHY10 was designed with the brightness of the Moon in mind. Settings on Nebulosity were also amp off on the QHY10, gain 0, offset 130.

Focus point = 15.5mm on the scale on the Equinox 80mm for the QHY10 with the TS OAG/Flip mirror also in place.

The following screenshot shows the focused Moon in Nebulosity 4 software, together with settings for the QHY10 on that software used tonight – note that there is colour dispersion due I suspect to low altitude of Moon and cloud present:

I found a process to address the colour dispersion using GIMP2 software using the decompose function which I have described in another post (click on link below) – please could readers let me know of any better process that you are aware of that I could have used tonight. I do have an atmospheric dispersion corrector but it is only 1.25″ fitting rather than the 2″ fitting required for the QHY10 camera.

Decomposing images in GIMP2

This resulted in my successful image of the Moon:


Moon 150819(VII) 15-5mm on Eq80 focus tube-RGB-blue layer after decompose:

Blue frame above with some processing in GIMP2 (single frame):

See following post for further processing of this image:

Re-processing Moon image in GIMP


Fun with my Bridge Camera

Some pics taken this evening with my Nikon P520, when I went out ‘bat hunting’ (NB all these images are cropped!):

Saturn single frame!
Jupiter Single Frame
Jupiter Single Frame – you can just see two bands!
Jupiter and Saturn
20 Jupiters and 30 Saturn images stacked out of 40 each, drizzled x3 to make them big enough to see!.
Sturgeon Moon Colour
And the Sturgeon Moon in Colour, stack of 10 frames.