Saturday, October 8, 2016

2016 International Observe the Moon Night

I've been celebrating International Observe the Moon Night since 2012, and even if I don't have it marked on my calendar, I've coincidentally been observing the night sky on the observation of this day every year. I think that's the point, right? It motivates you to get out there and do some observing, or in my case astrophotography.

Tonight, I tried to do a quick prime focus shot using mirror lock up with my Canon T5i. The problem with mirror lock up is that it takes so long between frames, it confuses Registax. The good thing is that the mirror doesn't shake my telescope on this ancient (15 year old) EQ mount.

Here's my best attempt in about an hour while dinner was being made. Everything from focusing to cropping in Camera RAW, to stacking, to Photoshopping all in a short amount of time.

2016 observe the moon night
Canon T5i 14 frames stacked in Registax, ISO 400, 1/125 sec, prime focus Meade 285 900mm
Chris asked me, what would happen if International Observe the Moon Night fell on a new moon? Well, my guess is that it doesn't, the date seems to change to make sure that the first quarter moon is high in the sky.

InOMN is usually held in the fall, when the Moon is around first quarter. Fall in the Northern Hemisphere is generally a good time for InOMN, because of school schedules and the weather, and a first quarter Moon is visible in the afternoon and evening, a convenient time for most hosts and participants. Furthermore, the best observing is typically along the dusk/dawn terminator, where shadows are the longest, not at full Moon.
This day has only been celebrated since 2010? I say let's keep it going! Great excuse to get outside or to hold an event for the public!

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