PHASES OF THE MOON

 

      WHAT – 29 images of each phase of the Moon photographed over a 10 month period

     WHERE – all Moon images taken from Devonport, Tasmania, Australia

HOW – at Prime Focus (camera attached directly to the telescope with a Meade adaptor). Pentax istDL SLR 6.1megapixel digital camera, Skywatcher 100mm ED (Extra Low Dispersion – Telescope lens glass with properties indicating special rare earth glass or special formulated glass that limiting or correcting of light rays passing through the lens elements to achieve all spectrum of colours to falls on the same plane of focus - especially the Red and Blue spectrum) 900mm focal length Refracting Telescope mounted on a Vixen equatorial mount. In most instances, equatorial tracking was employed to steady the Moon’s image during the exposure.




Image shows camera attached to telescope



Close-up of the camera connection



Camera adaptor shown attached to camera

WHY – The challenge! The idea of this composition just dawned on me one day late last year. I had the right photographic equipment and Photoshop 7 to get the result I wanted. Obtaining the majority of the Moon images was not a difficult task but the very last image (20) proved elusive to complete the “set”. That one actually took two months to obtain.
Planning well ahead was essential. Some of the thinner crescent phases required some degree of luck to capture because of their short visible duration. But the end result was worth the effort.

Much information can be gained from studying the images -
1.    The Moons size changes over time due to its orbital motion around the Earth. When it’s nearest to us it’s called Perigee and when it’s furthest away it’s called Apogee.
2.    Many of the Moons images have different colours due to atmospheric conditions and the altitude at the time the image of the Moon was taken.
3.    We are able to see more than 50% of the Moon even though it shows only one side to us – this apparent oscillation is called libration.
•    How many hours to produce.- approximately 30hours to obtain the actual images and more than 40hours in Photoshop computer work
•    Raw completed image size in Photoshop - 765 MB
•    Final jpeg image “ready for printing” size - 62MB
•    Average file size of individual raw photo – 682kb
•    A total of 237 images of the Moon were taken. Many of these were bracketed (changing the exposure level for successive frames, to obtain an image at the correct exposure) to obtain the best image.


                                                                                                            LEGEND

MOON IMAGE DETAILS

Image Photographic Details
Moon Image No.
Date
Time
ISO
Exposure
File size
  1 New Moon
05 06 08
18:31
400
1/6
1.58M
  2 Waxing Crescent Moon
06 06 08
06:14
400
1/30
2.06M
  3 Waxing Crescent Moon
07 06 08
18:26
400
1/60
465K
  4 Waxing Crescent Moon
11 03 08
19:55
200
1/30
1.67M
  5 Waxing Crescent Moon
17 09 07
20:21
200
1/250
241K
  6  First Quarter Moon
13 03 08
20:40
400
1/60
512K
  7 Waxing Gibbous Moon
18 11 07
21:32
200
1/250
379K
  8 Waxing Gibbous Moon
13 05 08
18:27
400
1/125
790K
  9 Waxing Gibbous Moon
19 11 07
22:06
400
1/250
578K
10 Waxing Gibbous Moon
17 03 08
19:37
400
1/500
1.03M
11 Waxing Gibbous Moon
24 09 07
23:11
200
1/250
609K
12 Waxing Gibbous Moon
23 10 07
20:48
200
1/250
614K
13 Waxing Gibbous Moon
25 09 07
05:07
200
1/250
624K
14 Waxing Gibbous Moon
19 04 08
19:40
400
1/500
640K
15  Full Moon
22 03 08
04:59
400
1/1500
505K
16 Waning Gibbous Moon
22 03 08
22:19
400
1/1000
688K
17 Waning Gibbous Moon
29 09 07
05:07
200
1/180
628K
18 Waning Gibbous Moon
26 03 08
06:17
400
1/350
558K
19 Waning Gibbous Moon
25 02 08
05:31
200
1/250
556K
20 Waning Gibbous Moon
23 07 08
06:25
400
1/250
563K
21 Waning Gibbous Moon
27 02 08
05:44
200
1/350
376K
22 Waning Gibbous Moon
28 02 08
05:43
200
1/250
353K
23  Last Quarter Moon
29 02 08
05:41
200
1/180
430K
24 Waning Crescent Moon
01 03 08
05:43
200
1/90
404K
25 Waning Crescent Moon
02 03 08
05:31
200
1/160
369K
26 Waning Crescent Moon
03 03 08
04:12
200
1/45
361K
27 Waning Crescent Moon
03 04 08
06:33
400
1/45
359K
28 Waning Crescent Moon
04 04 08
06:11
400
1/30
335K
29 Waning Crescent Moon
05 04 08
06:14
400
2.0sec
974K


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