Chris McKitterick (mckitterick) wrote,
Chris McKitterick

Bonus Astro-Image of the Day: A Flight over the Moon

I made this animated GIF from a series of astro-photos I took using my Meade 12" LX90 GPS telescope and a Meade DSI-III astro-imager, then reduced the image size and pumped them through an animated-.gif maker (free version, hence the silly "Trial Version!!" banner).

Because my telescope's drive appears to think it's on the Earth's Southern Hemisphere, so the drive isn't tracking correctly. Ironically, even though this makes taking astrophotos a pain in the buttocks, the movement inspired me to make this into a single GIF. Feels like a flight over the Moon!

EDIT: Optics details: This image was taken at prime focus (no eyepiece) through an f/6.3 focal reducer, resulting in a focal length of 76.8" or 1951mm. Without the reducer, this telescope is an f/10, giving it a focal length of 120", which would increase magnification even more (at f/6.3, the Moon more than fills the field of view at prime focus).

Images are less than 1 second each; not sure exactly how long (I'll pay closer attention next time - was distracted by the combined image looking so blurry), nor of the interval between them. Say, 1/10 second each with an interval of a few seconds?

Next time I'll also use a polarizing filter to help reduce the over-bright areas, and adjusting the clock drive will allow me to combine images for greater sharpness. Here's a still from the animated GIF (under the cut):


Tags: astronomy, telescopes

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