Just before I went to bed tonight, I saw this beautiful crescent moon over my neighbour's roof. To the right of the Moon, right above the tree, I saw Venus. I got out my old Coolpix 4500 on a tripod and shot this black and white image.
During the last few weeks the weather hasn’t been very kind on the observing front, so I cannot bring you much news about deepsky, solar or lunar observing. Most of the time it has been cloudy or completely overcast. Monday night however the clouds opened up for an hour, and I got a quick glimpse of the Moon with my binoculars. This image of the Moon was taken just a mile from where I live near the water tower.
On Thursday April 19th their was a pretty pairing of Venus and the Moon in the evening sky. I shot a few images with the Nikon Coolpix 4500 mounted on a tripod. On the first image you see the crescent Moon hanging to Venus's lower right, right over our neighbours house. On the second image you can see the earthshine on the part of the moon that is not illuminated by the Sun. On the third image you can see a close up of Venus and the Moon. Click on the thumbnail images to enlarge!
Last week I shot my first “live” footage from the Moon using the camcorder and the 85mm Zeiss. The camcorder was connected to a TAL 25mm plossl with a ScopeTronix adaptor. At the moment I am waiting for a new adaptor from Eagle Eye Optics, which will enable me to connect the camcorder, the Nikon Coolpix or any other camera to the Zeiss zoom-eyepiece. This should make life a little easier. I also got a new video-head for my tripod, the Manfrotto 501. This should give me good stability for shooting lunar images with the Zeiss just using the tripod. Anyway, if you’re interested in the first results I got, click on the image below, and the movie (about 3 minutes) will start (9 mb!) Allow a little time for the movie to load.
Last night before everything was shrouded in a very dens fog, I got a chance to shoot an image of the Moon with the Zeiss Diascope 85 (500mm f/5), the 32mm Televue Plossl and the Nikon Coolpix 4500.
Click to enlarge
The image is a stack of 9 original images, 1/125s, f/3.7, iso 100, 2272x1704. The image has been processed slightly using Noiseware Professional (noise reduction and unsharp masking) and histogram adjustment. The image was cropped to 800x600 (approx.)
During my vacation on the German island Ruegen I was so lucky to see my youngest Moon until now. On the evening of June 8th 2005 just after sunset I saw a thin crescent in the northwestern sky. When I came home I checked the lunation in Virtual Moon Atlas; the Moon was 1.94 days old on the evening of June 8 around 19.30hrs UT. Below the Moon a barely visible Venus was setting.
I shot some footage with my camcorder, which I processed into the two images below. If you look very carefully at the first image, you might see a small bright spot in the clouds near the horizon just above the black band of clouds. This is Venus. The second image was shot an hour after the first image. The small black band you see below the crescent Moon are some thin clouds. Later I tried to observe the Moon with my 7x50 binoculars for some details, but for several reasons I didn't succeed. It was not dark enough, so the contrast was poor and the Moon was already very low in the northwestern sky, so the atmosphere caused a lot of turbulence.
Still, the unobstructed naked-eye view of this thin crescent Moon in a blue sky was a fantastic view on its own. (Click on the thumbnails to enlarge)
Last night it was partly clouded, and around 7 o’clock p.m. a full Moon rose lighting the clouds. The atmosphere was almost magical. The view changed every few seconds as the clouds drifted by, and every now and again I saw Saturn right above the Moon, shining through the holes in the clouds. It is very hard to describe what I saw, and for the first hour I simply enjoyed the view with my naked eyes and a pair of 8x56 binoculars.
After that I decided to try shooting a few digital images and some video footage. Here’s an image that should give you an idea. The image was shot with the Coolpix 4500 using Bulb setting and noise reduction. Of course the Moon is over-exposed, because I wanted to photograph the beautiful clouds and Saturn as well. Saturn is not a bright dot but a litlle elongated because of the longer exposure time (25 seconds).