May 14, 2012
image by Bart Declercq
Many opportunities to observe are lost because amateurs look elsewhere near full Moon. Bart has made a magnificent moderate resolution mosaic of the entire nearly full Moon, demonstrating a complexity of patterns of lightness and darkness, and many shades in between. The excerpt here shows that the surface of Mare Imbrium has two major hues - a lighter gray seen in the eastern half and a sharply defined darker portion covering parts of the central-western region. The darker mare is younger and possesses the best preserved lava flow fronts on the Moon. Mare Imbrium is more subtly marked by different patterns of crater rays. Those from Copernicus (off the image beyond the bottom edge) are bright, wide splashes with wispy ends to the north. Aristarchus rays (far left) are shorter, thinner and grayer, while those from Aristillus (off the bottom right edge) are long, thin and less conspicuous, possibly because they are on the bright mare background. And did you notice that C. Herschel is a dark halo crater? I called this a moderate resolution image because it was made at the f/10 prime focus and has 23 million pixels; most LPOD images are larger scale and show smaller features. Bart promises to make a future f/16 mosaic that will have 64 million pixels, and will require well over a hundred AVIs. The only complete collection of telescopic images with high resolution and high Sun is Part II of the Consolidated Lunar Atlas, and the resolution is about the same as Bart's present f/10 image. At f/16 the bright Moon awaits mapping.
I have just arrived in Washington, DC for a meeting and had no time for a new LPOD but fortunately there are many great older ones such as this from Sept 19, 2008.
Sept 14, 2008. Celestron C9.25 in prime focus (F/10 = 2350mm) with DMK31 camera and infrared filter. 43 separate 1000 frame AVI's, up to 35 alignment points per AVI and 128 best images per point.
Rükl plate: I don't know, I have unpacked my Rükl yet!
Yesterday's LPOD: Luminous Shades of Gray
Tomorrow's LPOD: Rimless, Partially, Humorum