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The Moon Smiles...(Sort of)

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#1 james7ca

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 04:11 AM

On June 29 I was able to capture three sequences that I thought I might use for a panorama that would allow me a flyover along the terminator of the moon (by making an animation/video form the high resolution still image). However, I had some issues that caused a crash in SharpCap and then a long wait for any response from Windows such that about 30 minutes passed before I could complete a forced reboot and recovery in Windows. It's amazing what 30 minutes can do to your seeing conditions and now with that delay the moon was getting pretty low in the sky (almost behind a tree top).

 

The seeing conditions got bad enough that I doubted that I could complete a useful panorama, but I finished the last two sequences anyway (and I had to delete one of the previous captures because the crash in SharpCap corrupted the file).

 

To create the three sections I rotated the camera to keep the frame parallel with the terminator and as soon as I saw the finished panorama I noticed that the framing created a rather interesting geometric figure in the shape of, well, a kind of smile. Either that or the moon was mocking me with an evil grimace.

 

In any case, I may or may not try to convert this to a flyover animation but I think the still image is still worth posting.

 

Image capture was done using a Celestron C6 (native f/10) and a ZWO ASI178MM camera with a Baader 610nm Long Pass filter. Image processing in AutoStakkert! (best 20% of 4096 frames for each sequence), Registax, Microsoft's free Image Composite Editor (for the panorama), and Photoshop CC2019.

 

The reproduction below was reduced from the original 6854 x 3274 pixel image.

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  • Smiling or Mocking Moon Panorama (small).jpg

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#2 james7ca

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 04:19 AM

Here is a crop that shows the kind of resolution I might have gotten if I had finished the sequence about 40 minutes earlier. This was just prior to the start of the sequences I captured for the panorama, same equipment and processing (minus the Image Composite Editor). Still not a great night for seeing, but better than when I finished for the night.

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  • Copernicus on the Terminator.jpg

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#3 John Miele

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 06:24 AM

I would love to see a flyover animation with this data! Flyovers are so cool and this still looks like pretty crisp data to me...waytogo.gif

 

If you do create a flyover, could you also just briefly describe the software and basic outline of the steps you use. I have no idea how to do one...

 

cs...John



#4 james7ca

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 06:43 AM

I've done simple flyovers and panning before using Final Cut Pro but my copy of that software will no longer run on my current Mac. So, I'll have to look for another program that can do the same kind of conversion. There use to be a few apps that were not very expensive that could do that kind of conversion (sometimes called the Ken Burns effect -- like in the PBS series "The Civil War" where they would pan and zoom a still photograph).

 

In fact, I think iMovie can do that same effect but the last time I tried to use iMovie to do this kind of animation the results weren't very good (too much jitter in the panning). But, that was quite a few years ago, so maybe it's improved.

 

There might even be something that will run on my iPad to do that same type of conversion. Doesn't really matter how long it takes as long as the output is smooth and clear.

 

I think the image quality is good enough to do a 1080p video. One problem is that I will have to "fly" along a curved path or maybe rotate the camera view periodically as I move along the moon's terminator.


Edited by james7ca, 02 July 2020 - 06:56 AM.



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