Watching Sunset on the Moon, and things that go bump in the night!


Well it’s a start.  Sunset on the Moon!

This is the time lapse of sunset on the moon, taken at prime focus with a cpc11 with a focal reducer and a canon 60D.  The conditions were less than perfect.  This was about 9 hrs all in, and really quite an infuriating 9 hrs.

Firstly, since my ‘run in’ with the mountain lion, I’ve become VERY twitchy about things that go bump in the night, and would periodically scan the torch around, looking for ‘eyes’.  There was also an amusing part when a piece of paper blew out of the car.  The ‘sudden noise’ in the dark elicited an immediate reaction from me, which to the impartial observer must have appeared quite funny and disproportionate! (twirling around ready to attack the piece of paper…… hmmmm….  time to switch to decaf!)

Not all bad though, amazing what the heightened senses can find!


For some reason the telescope is lousy at tracking the moon.  I think this is to do with the fact that the Earth axis, and the normal of the orbit of the moon are out by about 6 degrees.  Practically what this means is the moon not only moves at a different rate to the stars (that is it goes around the sky in about 25 hours, not 24 like pretty much everything else).  But even with lunar rate, the tracking is poor.  I think the moon is also moving up/ down due to the difference in the normal of the Earth rotation and the moons orbit, and the mount is not smart enough to work this out.  The practical upshot of which is the moon will drift out of the field of view over a period of about an hour, so I had to set the alarm to go off every 20 minutes throughout the night in order to recenter the moon.

Further recentering the frames, taken every 2 minutes in editing is also a pain in the ass.  Thankfully Sony Vegas now has a ‘motion stabilizer’ feature that takes a lot of the donkey work out of this.

This is the finished product!  Well actually, only part of it.  At prime focus the telescope can get the best part of the moon in the frame.  I just selected one crater, as it shows the shadows nicely.

Tracking on everything else is perfect, in that at the end of the evening I dialed up Jupiter, and it went straight to it.  Cute! Never seen Jupiter by the full light of day before!

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Responses to “Watching Sunset on the Moon, and things that go bump in the night!”

  1. PCPete (aka Cephas Borg) Says:

    How damn cool is that? My scope is fully, er, unautomated, and I definitely have “goto envy” now… At least it’s an EQ mount, which helps.

    My advice with that brazen little killer kangaroo mouse is to maintain eye contact, make yourself as big as possible, and back away slowly. Or scream like a girl (the Homer Simpson method). 😉

    And it doesn’t look anything _like_ a kangaroo!

    (I know, I know, it’s the method of locomotion, not the body shape!)

  2. PCPete (aka Cephas Borg) Says:

    Oh, yeah, grouse sequence of the shadows across the craters!

    I was fascinated to note the lack of change in the images as the sun rose – it took quite a while for the light scattering in the atmosphere to flare out the image! (assuming that the inset time-lapse sequence was synchronised to the daylight sequence)

    Love your work!

  3. Les Says:

    Get yourself a wedge Thunderfoot. I hear that changes everything for the CPC. I don’t have one yet either but it’s part of the plan.

  4. Grounds for Inspiration « PixelStampede Says:

    […] in the evening I enjoyed a cool breeze on the upper deck of Brockman Hall, viewing Jupiter, the Moon, and binary pair stars. The detail that could be seen of the Moon’s surface was astonishing […]

  5. Grounds for Inspiration | emilyhasbooks Says:

    […] in the evening I enjoyed a cool breeze on the upper deck of Brockman Hall, viewing Jupiter, the Moon, and binary pair stars. The detail that could be seen of the Moon’s surface was astonishing […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: