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Mountains and shadows: Moon 2019-09-07

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#1 DMach

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 12:23 PM

A somewhat serendipitous capture. I was hoping to capture one more image of Jupiter (as I will need to take a break from imaging until mid-October at least) but strong gusty winds were creating a challenge and clearly compromising the data.

So I decided to replace the camera with my diagonal and eyepiece and simply enjoy observing the Moon. At 64% illumination, the views along Montes Apenninus (with deep shadows being thrown into the Mare Imbrium basin) were so stunning I just couldn't help myself ... back in went the camera!

Imaging conditions hadn't changed of course, so it was potentially an exercise in futility ... but I dropped the exposure down to 5.5ms @ 50% gain and hoped for the best. Only the top 15% of frames were worth stacking.

The final image here needed heavy cropping to exclude extensive edge artefacts, a combined result of the severe image shake/movement during capture and the stacking process. It has also been scaled down 42% ... not only to meet the 500kb max fiel size, but also to help hide the inevitable blurring.

Moon 2019-09-07 Mons Huygens v1 42pc ba.png

Mons Huygens (the Moon's tallest mountain, peaking at around 5,500m) can be seen slightly to the right of centre, with the crater Conon and Mons Bradley visible in the top right corner.

The overall experience of observing this region and then producing this image solidifies in my mind that high resolution lunar imaging is perhaps the most challenging forms of solar system imaging, in that it is hard to imagine ever producing an image that truly captures the wondrous view down the eyepiece. And it drives home just how amazing the combination of human eye and brain are, capable of high dynamic range image processing in real time!

Definitely an area I would like to return to and perhaps produce a high resolution panorama of the entire mountain chain at this Moon phase.

Thanks for looking!

Edited by DMach, 13 September 2019 - 10:27 PM.

  • Wouter D'hoye, Carol L, bill w and 18 others like this

#2 kevinbreen

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 01:21 PM

Great shot!



#3 DMach

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 06:05 PM

Great shot!

Thanks Kevin  :)



#4 Mirzam

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 07:18 PM

Really impressive sense of relief between the mountains and the mare.

 

JimC



#5 DMach

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 10:28 PM

Really impressive sense of relief between the mountains and the mare.

JimC


Thank you Jim!

#6 Tom Glenn

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 07:12 PM

Nice image Darren, and I agree with your statement about how producing a two dimensional image of the Moon doesn't seem to capture the beauty.  This is especially true when limited to a small ROI, as the image lacks context with the surrounding terrain.  Nevertheless, you have produced a nice image of the region!  



#7 DMach

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 11:42 PM

Nice image Darren, and I agree with your statement about how producing a two dimensional image of the Moon doesn't seem to capture the beauty.  This is especially true when limited to a small ROI, as the image lacks context with the surrounding terrain.  Nevertheless, you have produced a nice image of the region!  

Thanks Tom. Yes, my plan was to go broader with the ROI, but I was forced to crop severely in the end. I very much want to come back to this region at the same phase.

 

I've been meaning to ask you: one of the things I find most challenging which lunar image processing is trying to reproduce what the eye sees in terms of dynamic range ... if I try to bring the brightness of the surrounding areas up to match that seen down the eyepiece, I either blow out the highlights or lose detail.

 

Any tips?



#8 Marco Lorenzi

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 12:05 AM

I've been meaning to ask you: one of the things I find most challenging which lunar image processing is trying to reproduce what the eye sees in terms of dynamic range ... if I try to bring the brightness of the surrounding areas up to match that seen down the eyepiece, I either blow out the highlights or lose detail.

 

Any tips?

I am not sure which camera you used (the 290MC?), anyway imaging the Moon ideally you should work with low gains and full 12 bit (or 14 bit depending on the sensor) to preserve the high dynamic potential of the camera. This comes at the price of lower frame rate and bigger size. I acquired a 178MM for Lunar images and found it working great keeping it at low gain, but the SER files produced are huge so I don't do much Lunar imaging.

Alternatively to increase the dynamic but still working at 8 bit and higher frame rate you may have to stack lots of frames to compensate. Here is an example with the 178MM but with my older C9.25, probably processing could have been a bit better but gives an idea of the potentials.

 

Regards

Marco



#9 CraigT82

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 08:23 AM

Great image and nice info about Mons Huygens. Perhaps you could try a double exposure HDR technique?

 

i.e. capture one video exposed for the darker plains, then another exposed for the bright crater walls, process each separately and merge/blend in in PS




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