Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Spotted Gassendi Crater for the IAS Observing List

The monthly IAS observing list usually includes two lunar features - one 1st quarter and one 3rd quarter. Unfortunately the 3rd quarter moon means either waking up early or going out in the middle of the night to really get a good shot.

Here are photos I took early in early morning and late morning in the past few days. I was able to identify Gassendi Crater from the photos through my 300mm lens, but it wasn't quite as nice as observing the moon through my telescope. I did get my scope out intending to take a photo of the day moon, but there was no contrast and it wouldn't have been worth all the trouble.

Gassendi Crater is a large old crater that was filled in the lava, giving it a flat bottom and shallow rim considering its diameter.

(Left): Stack of 20 frames, each at f/11, ISO 200, 300mm, 1/100 sec through thin clouds around 7:30am
(Right): Stack of 10 frames, each at f/11, ISO 100, 300mm, 1/200 sec above the West horizon at 10:50am

Now that my expectations for moon photo crispness have risen, these photos seem to "do the job" when it comes to checking this crater off my list, but nothing to write home about. A year ago I would have been pumped to take either of these photos, but I've come a long way!

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