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Rima Hyginus and Rima Ariadaeus

Rima Hyginus and Rima Ariadaeus Rima Hyginus and Rima Ariadaeus © Frederick Steiling
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Target Information
Main Target Designation(s) Rima Hyginus and Rima Ariadaeus
Companion Objects Mare Vaporum, Boscovich, Julius Caesar, Silberschlag, Agrippa, Tempel, d'Arrest, Godin, Triesnecker
Date(s) of acquisition 02Aug2018
Location Definance, MO
Moon Phase 76.0%
Capture resolution 1936 x 1216
Total capture 9558 x 54.95ms at 50% gain
Stack source 3823 (40%) of 527" video at 18 fps (avg)
Imager ZWO ASI174MM
Filters Astronomik ProPlanet 742 IR-pass
Telescope/Lens Celestron C14 XLT SCT
Magnifiers Tele Vue 2x Powermate
Effective Focal Length 7820mm (f/22)
Mount Celestron CGE Pro
Focuser Moonlite 2.5" CSL
Acquisition FireCapture 2.5
Guiding None
Processing AutoStakkert 3, PixInsight 1.8, Photoshop CC

While we usually think of the spattering of craters and vast flatlands when imagining the lunar surface, there are some much more intricate features that tend to evade our eye, even through a telescope!  The targets for this image aimed to uncover some of these interesting features in the lunar rille.  A rille is a narrow channel/fissure, and this image captures not one but two of these very intricate snake-like ribbons.

Across the center of the frame run Rima Hyginus (to the west) and Rima Ariadaeus (to the east).  Both named after craters bearing the same surname, each rille is likely the result of a sinking surface across a lunar fault line and bear widths of approximately 4km (2 mi) and 7 km (4 mi) respectively.  Rima Ariadaeus very interestingly shows patterns of overlapping crater sprays and ridges, a tell-tale indication that the channel is very young, having sunk after the creation of the nearby formations.  Not to be outdone by its neighbor, Rima Hyginus features scattered collapse craters along its path (the largest of which is Hyginus) giving it a more inconsistent wall and very bulleted appearance toward its western run.

I captured the video for this image on a night with an atmosphere that was a bit calmer than it typically is in my area.  I took full advantage through the steadier IR filter and acquired a pretty significant number of frame at the ASI174's full 1936x1216 capture size, the combination of which resulted in a mammoth 21GB file!  With such a selection of data, the 40% stack I created resulted in a fairly crisp low-noise source frame to which wavelet and deconvolution processed were applied to impressive clarity.  When considering the surface was about 400,000 km (250,000 mi) away at the time of this capture, it's really amazing that we can glean great detail in these marvelous channels that are only 4km (2 mi) and 7 km (4 mi) in width.

There are more overlooked areas on the moon to image yet; here's hoping another few steady nights await!

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