I know the moon doesn’t have much in the way of color, but the landscape photographer in me really loves color. While I thoroughly enjoy high resolution b&w lunar images, I’d like to add some color into the mix. Finding color images by Bartosz Wojczyński earlier this year, and also one by Ignacio Diaz Bobillo (you can see his image at http://www.pampaskies.com/gallery3/Moon/Luna_Cenital_Color) really put the bug in me to try to get ‘high resolution’ lunar images in color.
Now that I’ve been researching the topic more, I have of course discovered some of the major hurdles associated with lunar photography, particularly in color. I’ve been looking into a color CMOS camera (QHY 183C) to be paired with a Celestron C8 EdgeHD telescope. Not wanting to go into a big mono/color wheel versus color camera debate, I do understand that the Bayer matrix will reduce the effective resolution of the color camera versus a mono camera of the same model. I believe this can be abated somewhat by oversampling of the image, say by shooting at resolutions of .15 to .1 arcseconds and then resizing the image at an appropriate resolution.
The other challenge I recently learned (or at least was reminded from my high school physics class) was light refraction through the earth’s atmosphere for different wavelengths of light. Granted, that is an issue whether I use a color camera or mono camera. I believe I can address this issue with the use of an ADC, such as one offered by Pierro Astro, as well as by using FireCapture to align the color channels. I’ve seen examples of shots of Saturn using this setup, but the angular size of Saturn is small compared to the moon.
Does anyone know if the ADC works with a large size senor like the QHY 183C (13.3mm x 8.9mm)? Can I maintain a flat field with the ADC?
I realized in my looking at higher resolution lunar images (I’ll informally say ‘high resolution’ is at 0.25 arcseconds/pixel or less), I’ve almost seen none in color. Seeing the truly outstanding and real high resolution B&W images taken by people on this forum, I now recognize most of the color images posted by Bartosz Wojczyński, as good as they are, are not high resolution. Bartosz has only one high resolution image and it was taken in bicolor with a mono camera. Ignacio’s image (with the link above), was taken with a DSLR and processed with separate channels and recombined in PixInsight, and also is a bit shy of high resolution. I’ve not found a single color image (doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, I just haven’t seen it with hours of looking) of the moon in high resolution that was taken with a color camera and used an ADC. Does anyone have an example of an image with a resolution of at least 0.25 arcseconds/pixel with this setup?
I’ve started to realize that if I don’t see an image or process readily posted online, there’s generally a good reason for it. Is high resolution color photography of the moon a pipe dream?