Thursday, March 24, 2005
Serpentine ridge, Posidonius, Atlas and Hercules

Here’s an image with some interesting lunar features. The Moon is about 5 days old. In the south you see the eastern part of Mare Serenitatis with a beautiful wrinkled ridge, looking like a snake with a forked tongue, the Serpentine ridge (Dorsa Smirnov). At the northern end of the Serpentine Ridge, lies the walled plain Posidonius, with some interesting features on the crater floor. Near the centre of Posidonius you can see a small crater, Posidonius A, surrounded by a few hills. Visually I detected a rille in the north-south direction near the western rim of Posidonius. There are more rilles across the crater floor, but I did not see them tonight (March 16th 2005). Posidonius marks the north-eastern border of Mare Serenitatis.

North of Serenitatis lies another dark area, Lacus Somniorum. North of Somniorum lies Lacus Mortis with the crater Burg at its centre. To the east of Lacus Mortis you can see the beautiful pair of craters, Hercules and Atlas, to the west you can see the rim of Aristoteles is lit by the Sun.


Posted by Math on 03/24 at 12:15 PM | filed in: Lunar log | Print
Saturday, March 19, 2005
Theophilus, Cyrillus and Catharina

On the image below you see Theophilus, Cyrillus and Catharina between the lunar terminator and Mare Nectaris. The Altai scarp is beautifully lit, and at the southern end of the Altai Scarp lies Piccolomini with its central peak clearly visible.


The image was taken on March 16 2005 with the Coolpix 4500, the TAL 200K and a 20mm Vixen Lanthanum eyepiece. The Moon was 5 days old.

Posted by Math on 03/19 at 12:02 PM | filed in: Lunar log | Print
Thursday, March 17, 2005
The Moon 5 days old

Last night I shot this image of a 5-day-old Moon. In the South, the trio Theophilus, Cyrillus and Catharina were beautifully lit, together with Rupes Altai. On the northern half Posidonius and Dorsa Smirnov in Mare Serenitatis stole the show (visually). I also shot some detailed images. A report will follow in the Solar System section of my website.


The image was shot with the Coolpix 4500, a TAL 200K telescope, 32mm Televue plossl, IR/UV cut filter and a Baader Contrast Booster. The camera was set at 1/30s, ISO 100 and f/2.6. I stacked ten images with Keith’s Image Stacker and applied a little unsharp masking and adjustment of the middle and upper levels to get some more brightness into the image.

Posted by Math on 03/17 at 05:08 AM | filed in: Lunar log | Print
Thursday, March 10, 2005
Observing chair for backyard astronomers: Catsperch Pro

I wrote an online review with digital images about the
Catsperch observing chair. In the last 8 months I have
been using this fine piece of equipment, and I can tell
you that an observing chair is one of the best accessories
I ever bought! Follow this link to read the full story............


Posted by Math on 03/10 at 07:39 AM | filed in: Equipment | Print
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Dark ring around Tycho

Last week I shot some images of the Tycho crater rays. You can see the ring of dark material around the bright crater-rim very clearly. The bright crater rays seem to start from this ring of dark material. The craters that are visible near the southern limb will be discussed in one of the next weblog entries. In the meantime, enjoy the view!


Posted by Math on 03/01 at 02:28 PM | filed in: Lunar scraps | Print
Sunday, February 27, 2005
The Moon in 3D

In the January’s Sky and Telescope (2005) I read an article about rendering an image of the Moon into a 3D image using Photoshop. Here’s the first results I got using this technique. The images below show just a small part of the original images. The image was shot with the Nikon Coolpix 4500. Mare Crisium looks round on this image, and near the lunar limb you can see Mare Marginis and Mare Smythii as small elongated patches of dark mare material.


After processing the image it looks like this:


Mare Crisium is not round but oval. Mare Marginis and Mare Smythii can be seen much better than on the unprocessed image. Also take notice of how different the two Maria beneath Crisium, Mare Spumans and Mare Undarum look. If you compare all the Maria on the processed image with the images in the Clementine Atlas of the Moon, you will see that the processed image gives very accurate views of the different features.

In the near future I hope to publish more of these rendered images on my website in the Solar System section. This is indeed another way to look at our moon!

Posted by Math on 02/27 at 12:52 PM | filed in: Lunar scraps | Print
Friday, February 25, 2005
Waterproof map case

For some time I have been looking for something to store my books and maps in while observing. The problem is, books and maps always get dirty and wet when used outside. Yesterday I got a waterproof map case (A3) and I had a chance to test it last night. It works perfectly. The map case is made of heavy transparent PVC (poly vinyl chloride) and is 100% waterproof. After inserting the books into the case, you can close the case with two aluminum rails that are held together with 4 screws. In the A2 map case you can easily get two books like the Rukl Moon Atlas (See image below).


I used the map case for 4 hours last night at the telescope. I only had to open the case once to turn a page. The humidity was 80%, but when I got indoors this morning, I immediately checked the books and they where completely dry. In time I will write a more detailed report in my equipment section with some more images, but for now I can tell you that I’m very pleased with this waterproof map case.


Posted by Math on 02/25 at 04:22 AM | filed in: Equipment | Print
Friday, February 11, 2005
Earthshine and the 4-day-old Moon

Hi all,

On January 14th 2005 I observed the 4-day-old moon with the 4-inch refractor. In the Solar system section you will find an observing report and some images that I shot during the session. On the first image you see my first result trying to capture the earthshine. The second image is an overview of the 4-day-old Moon.  If you move the mouse pointer over the image the names and locations of the different lunar features discussed will appear on the image.


For the full story please follow this link.

Posted by Math on 02/11 at 03:27 AM | filed in: Lunar log | Print
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