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Copernicus

Copernicus and the surrounding lunar landscape Copernicus and the surrounding lunar landscape © Frederick Steiling
Image Links
Full resolution
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Target Information
Main Target Designation(s) Rima Hyginus and Rima Ariadaeus
Companion Objects Reinhold, Hortensius, Milichius, Gay-Lussac, Fauth, Stadius
Acquisition
Date(s) of acquisition 20Aug2018
Location Definance, MO
Moon Phase 76.9%
Capture resolution 1936 x 1216
Red (also as Luminance)
Total capture 9282 x 18.95ms at 50% gain
Stack source 1856 (20%) of 180" video at 51 fps (avg)
Green
Total capture 7290 x 24.63ms at 50% gain
Stack source 1458 (20%) of 180" video at 40 fps (avg)
Blue
Total capture 6965 x 25.79ms at 50% gain
Stack source 1393 (20%) of 180" video at 38 fps (avg)
Equipment
Imager ZWO ASI174MM
Filters ZWO 1.25" RGB
Telescope/Lens Celestron C14 XLT SCT
Magnifiers Tele Vue 2x Powermate
Effective Focal Length 7820mm (f/22)
Correctors ZWO Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector
Mount Celestron CGE Pro
Focuser Moonlite 2.5" CSL
Software
Acquisition FireCapture 2.5
Guiding None
Processing AutoStakkert 3, PixInsight 1.8, Photoshop CC

One of the most prominent craters on our side of the moon is Copernicus, a grand 93km (53mi) impact remnant sitting in a largely flat area of the western side of the lunar face.  I've imaged this area in detail before, but then with my trusty 8" Newtonian scope.  Here, we've taken full advantage of the 14" aperture on the C14 along with the added focal length to squeeze out some remarkably fine detail in this area, uncovering more than we may have noticed otherwise!

Copernicus' ray traces (spray from the original impact) are usually very noticeable from wider views.  In this magnified view, we instead can focus on the subtle variations they produce in the flat areas around the crater, giving slight variations between blue and rusty hues in this RGB image.  Scattered about are various deep craters, such as the 12km (7mi) bowl Fauth and the 15km (9mi) companion Hortensius.  A remarkable ghost crater, Stadius, also makes a dim appearance.  This crater once was a full bowl as the others in this image, but was subsequently filled with the lava flows associated with the nearby Mare Insularum.

Though this is a relatively colorless area, the RGB composite nonetheless brings some life to the surface here, where the large domination of blue tones indicates the titanium-rich composition of the surface.  Usage of the red filter image as luminance helped sharpen up the image.  As the local atmospheric conditions were sub-par on this night, the longer wavelength captured by the red filter helped "beat" the waviness of the sky and presents this fascinating area to greater detail.

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