August 26, 2014

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61 vs 11

image by Ross Sackett, Memphis Astronomical Society

I was looking through the images of the online version of the Consolidated Lunar Atlas and saw one of Copernicus that seemed surprisingly familiar. A quick rummage through my own lunar photos found one with almost identical lighting conditions. The pair make a nice contrast. The CLA image on the left (somewhat cropped from the original) was taken under near-ideal conditions in 1967 using the 61" Kuiper telescope at the Steward (then Catalina) Observatory, at an altitude of 8,230 feet above sea level. The CLA photos are considered some of the best lunar images taken in the Age of Film. The image on the right was captured nearly five decades later, from my backyard in midtown Memphis at an altitude of about 300 feet above sea level during a period of mediocre seeing using an 11" Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain. It is a stack of 400 frames (out of 3600) taken with an ASI120MM astronomical video camera, processed in AutoStakkert, Astra Image, and Photoshop. The sharper backyard image is testament to what amateurs can do today with modern equipment and processing techniques.

Ross Sackett

Related Links
21st Century Atlas charts 17 & 22.

Yesterday's LPOD: Comparative Planetology

Tomorrow's LPOD: Rules for Rilles


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