January 24, 2015

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Platonic Nirvana

Originally published January 24, 2004


Image Credit: Bruno Daversin

Platonic Nirvana

The Holy Grail of competition for visual observers and imagers is the floor of the crater Plato. With a good 5" telescope, three and sometimes four craterlets can be seen. The very best amateur images, until now, show a dozen or so crater pits. Late last year Bruno Daversin, Director of the Ludiver Observatory and Planetarium, shocked everyone by presenting a collection of images with startlingly high resolution. Bruno has counted more than 60 craters on the floor of Plato in this image! The image is very much like others taken by amateurs: a webcam was used to take 1500 frames and the best 400 were composited and enhanced. But Bruno used Ludiver's 24" Cassegrain telescope and his processing was much more extensive than normal, requiring 7 hours of computer time! Perhaps we should not count this as an amateur image, but it is superb, and makes me wonder what could be produced with a really large telescope!

Related Links:
Ludiver Observatory and Planetarium Moon Atlas
Plato Changes (click Others and then Plato Changes)

Yesterday's LPOD: Infant Moon

Tomorrow's LPOD: On the Limb with Alika

Author & Editor:
Charles A. Wood



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