With the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing (Apollo 11) coming up on July 20 I wanted to see if I could improve on my image of the landing site using a 9.25" EdgeHD. So, here is an image that I took on
May 11 June 9, 2019 covering both the Apollo 11 and Apollo 16 landing sites (the latter the first Apollo mission to the lunar highlands).
I've also prepared labeled images (both mine and images taken by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, you should be able to tell which is which ) showing the precise landing sites and other landmarks. Based upon measurements that I took from LRO images it looks like I recorded craters down to just about 0.9 kilometers, which turns out to be an angular resolution of 0.5 arc seconds based upon the then current distance to the moon. In particular, it appears that I recorded the craters Palmetto and Gator which are just north of the Apollo 16 landing site (Palmetto was visited by the astronauts using the lunar rover). To get under the CN posting limits I rotated my image so that north is to the left.
I also captured the so-called Cat's Paw crater group that is probably the closest feature to the Apollo 11 landing site that can be seen from earth using a small to medium sized telescope. This is the first time that I've resolved details in the Cat's Paw, as it's just possible to see two toes (or pads) on the "paw" feature. There is also an unnamed crater (barely, I mean very barely, detected) that is about 1 km in size that is just south (to the right) of the Cat's Paw. Then there are the three craters that were officially named after the Apollo 11 crew (Armstrong, Collins, and Aldrin).
In the following images taken with the EdgeHD the Apollo 11 site is toward the upper left side, while Apollo 16 is on the lower right (the latter's text label may be a bit difficult to see since the landing area around Apollo 16 is pretty rough terrain).
My image was taken with a 9.25" Celestron EdgeHD at f/10 using a ZWO
ASI183MM Pro ASI178MM-Cool and a Baader 610nm Long Pass filter. Image processing with AutoStakkert!, Registax, and Photoshop CC2019. The images taken by the LRO are labeled as such and were taken from the LRO Quickmap website. The blue, circular markers on the LRO images are the EXACT positions of the landings, I zoomed in on the LRO images until the lander was visible and then used the website's point drawing tool to mark the SPOT.
The next time that these features will likely be visible will be on July 8.
Corrected date and camera for capture with the EdgeHD.
Edited by james7ca, 24 June 2019 - 05:21 AM.