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Copernicus and Friends on a Waning Crescent (2016Jan03)

Copernicus & Friends on a Waning Crescent Copernicus & Friends on a Waning Crescent ©2015 Frederick Steiling
Image Links
Published image Full resolution (bare)
Annotated image Full resolution
Target Information
Main Target Designation(s) Moon
Companion Object(s) Copernicus (crater), Montes Carpatis (range), Reinhold (crater)
Exposures (full disc)
Unfiltered monochrome Panel 1: 1290 x 1ms
Panel 2: 1280 x 1ms
Panel 3: 1286 x 1ms 
Video source 40% each of 2' video
Stacking 1.5x drizzle
Exposures (Copernicus zoom)
Unfiltered monochrome 1280 x 1ms
Video source 40% 2' video
Stacking 3.0x drizzle
All Exposures
Date(s) of acquisition 03Jan2016
Location Defiance, MO
Imager ZWO ASI120MM
Telescope/Lens Orion 8" f/3.9 Astrograph
Mount Celestron CGEM
Focuser Moonlite 2" Newtonian CR
Coma Corrector None
Collimator 2" Howie Glatter @ 650nm
Focusing Moonlite Mini V2 High-res Controller
Magnifiers Orion 2x "Shorty" Barlow
Acquisition FireCapture 2.4
Guiding None
Processing AutoStakkert 2, Registax 6, PixInsight 1.8

Here on a ~40% last quarter moon we take a much closer look at some of the delights the moon has to offer.

A look at the image with scale really puts some perspective on sizes, something that's often very difficult to gauge when viewing with the naked eye.  Copernicus, the central crater in the close-up, is a whopping 92 km (57 mi) in diameter, large enough to house most metropolitan areas in its bowl!  And rather than a few bumps on a picture, the nearby Montes Carpatus is a legitimate mountain range stretching 361 km (224 mi).  This range borders the southern edge of the Mare Imbrium (the Imbrium "Sea") and contains some peaks that tower 2000 meters (6500 feet) over the floor of the Mare Imbrium.

I focus on the edge of the shadow here because the off-axis light from the sun provides a more detailed viewpoint of the features present on the lunar surface.  Many of these nuances are typically missed in wider angle shots and in higher-light areas, but their details become readily visible thanks to the setting lunar sun.

This is another first-run trial with my new ZWO planetary (and lunar, of course!) camera on my "wide angle" deep sky telescope.  At a focal length of 800mm, there's actually not a considerable amount of zoom available, and the close-up shown here is probably about as good as this scope can do for clear close-ups.  It'll be fun to map out some of the more tasty features the moon has to offer with higher focal length, which should be available to me in the coming months.

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