Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday Late Edition

So I went out to walk The Dog and saw that a fairly new moon was over the horizon to the west. Well I've been meaning to try and get some early moon shots since last month, so since it was still fairly early, I broke out the ole telescope and went to work.
The scope I got is a 70mm refractor from Televue, and old discontinued model called the Pronto. It's supposed to be color corrected and stuff since it has ED glass.
It's on the short side as refractors go, only 480mm, so it has a fairly wide field of view.
I'll take some better pics later:

The picture is a little misleading for the glare shield is extended, so it looks a little longer than it actually is.
Anyways, I got out the point and shoot and set it on macro so I could get some shots from the eyepiece.
Not as easy at it sounds.
I should have set up a separate tripod for the camera as the shutter speeds hovered at one second.
Duh! I'm shooting in the dark.
Well not so duh, because the moon is a fairly bright object as you'll soon see.
The other difficulty was getting the object to focus in center. Eyepieces have a definite sweet spot and some suffer from fairly low exit pupil. Meaning you have to get your eye pretty close to the eyepiece in order to focus on your subject.
The other difficulty to overcome is the autofocus of the camera.
So let's see how I did:

Okay, that's not the moon! It was cloudy by the time I got my stuff all set up(as usual) so I swung the scope around and looked for Saturn. I'm pretty sure that's it.
I'll have to check the charts later, but Saturn's Rings are facing us so you can't really see anything. It's a bit better if you use a yellow filter, and higher power, but I was just bored so I didn't bother. Oh, and I was only at about 24 power.
Okay, here's the moon:

Not very good at all. I believe some of those shots were with a yellow filter, and I switched over to black and white.
The bright part still washes everything out. I did switch over to a blue filter later, but the moon had set behind the hills by then.
I was just going to shoot and go back to watching Law & Order, but I ended up staying out there for about an hour and a half.
The idea was to capture the details that are revealed on the terminator. That's the area of light and dark; better for contrast than a full moon.
If you look good, on the bottom picture, you can see some details like mountains and stuff on the terminator, and you can make out some mare from the transient light on the dark surface in the top pictures.
On the bottom picture, you can see the field of view of the eyepiece on the bottom left corner.
I tried to shoot through the clouds to cut some of the light, but as you can see, it's pretty bright.
I forgot I sold my polarized filter a while back and never got another one.
I'll try again tomorrow with the blue filter and see what happens.
I want to try and get a picture of the youngest moon I can. Meaning I'm going to try and catch it when it's just a sliver. I think it's a better subject than a full moon.
Stay tuned.


dogimo said...

I love these, especially the third shot up from the bottom. The moon is on FIRE!

limom said...

Thanks! I hope to get more dramatic shots this month. Maybe more video.