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Monday, October 5, 2015

Total Lunar Eclipse: September 27, 2015, 10:50 PM


Three minutes past totality, but the exact minute of Full Moon. Note the nearby stars, something you would never see in the glare of an uneclipsed Full Moon. Image is slightly blurred because the shutter stayed open long enough to form an image - you can see this in the slight trailing of the stars.

For full coverage of the eclipse, go here.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Waxing crescent, September 15, 2015 through September 20, 2015

Sequence of photos taken at roughly the same time each night between September 15 and September 20, 2015. The Moon was technically visible on September 14, as a super-thin 1% illuminated crescent, but was obscured by clouds.

September 15, 2015. 7:51 PM

September 16, 2015. 8:07 PM.

September 17, 2015. 8:09 PM.

September 18, 2015. 8:06 PM.

September 19, 2015. 8:20 PM.

September 20, 2015. 8:11 PM.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Waxing gibbous, April 28, 2015

I've had my new camera for over a year now and still don't know how to use most of the features on the darned thing. Today I was inspired to try something new - play with the exposure control. One of the problems with photographing the Moon is that it's so bright -  even at its crescent phases, the brightness washes out a lot of detail. I've been getting around that by using a high shutter speed feature, which takes a burst of images of very short exposure time at a much lower resolution than normal. I wondered if, by using the exposure control I could get high-resolution images that also had more detail than my usual images.

My first attempt was taken at 8:06 PM, shortly after sunset. The sky was still fairly bright. I cranked the exposure control all the way down to -2.0, and did some processing to the resulting image - brightness and contrast adjustments and unsharp masking. I was very happy with the result.
Waxing gibbous, April 28, 2015, 8:06 PM.
 I wanted to see what would happen when the sky was fully dark, so I took another photo at 9:26 PM. With this one I only applied unsharp masking; any attempts to adjust brightness or contrast resulted in undesirable results. The processed image has less contrast in the maria, but shows more detail along the terminator.

Waxing gibbous, April 28, 2015, 9:26 PM.
I'm glad that I tried this trick, and look forward to testing its effectiveness at other phases. Maybe I should go through the whole manual sometime...

Friday, January 9, 2015

Orion, Taurus, Eridanus, January 9, 2015

Comet Lovejoy is still in the neighborhood of Orion and Eridanus, so I thought I'd try to capture it on Thursday night. Unfortunately, it is too dim to show up on my images, and it is too difficult to zoom in on its approximate location with any accuracy. But here are a couple of photos that came out pretty well during the effort.

Orion, Taurus, and part of Eridanus, January 9, 2015, 10:01 PM. Comet Lovejoy is to the right of the "bow" of Orion and below the vertex of the Hyades, but I don't think it's visible here.

The Sword of Orion. The Orion Nebula is at center.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Waning gibbous, January 8, 2015, six hours apart

Images of the Moon taken before going to bed (12:28 AM) and after getting up (6:19 and 6:20 AM.)

12:28 AM

6:20 AM

12:28 AM

6:19 AM