So, the Moon’s back once again!
Yes, so the Moon is nice to look at on the odd occasion, but boy, does it so regularly interfere with everything else.
And it always seems to be a clear sky when the Moon is at its brightest.
Up until about 10 years ago this was my main attitude towards the Moon.
So, when the Moon comes out, should I sit inside sulking, complaining about its bright light flooding out and hiding all those lovely deep sky objects and comets I love to chase down and image? After, would make a lot of sense as I am now starting to approach that Victor Meldrew stage of life! I know, I know, I can hear you saying “I Don’t Believe It!”.
But I have found as I have got older, I have started to re-discover the joys of that highly detailed lunar surface.
After all, it is the one celestial body that we can observe and image in unprecedented detail.
The changing angle of sunlight, bringing sharply into view different features each day, even changing significantly over a span of just a few hours, constantly gives us a new perspectives.
Features close to the terminator, the transition between night and day, (sunrise or sunset), create impressively long shadows that accentuate those features, making them look much more exaggerated than they really are and extremely dramatic.
Most of the features do get washed out close to full moon, looking a bit flat and lifeless, but bright crater rays show up really well at this phase. (If I was really that desperate to do some deep-sky imaging when the Moon is bright, I could always use a Hydrogen Alpha filter).
So, as I have re-embraced the Moon, I have learnt some very effective lunar image processing techniques and now understand how best to use my equipment to get the very best images. As a result my lunar images are now probably as good as my equipment will allow. If only I had a C11! We’re never satisfied with our equipment, are we? 🙂
Since starting proper visual astronomy at the age of 9, I am very proud of all I have achieved over those 47 years. The changes in the hobby and the equipment and knowledge available to amateurs these days is absolutely sensational. What else lies just around the corner?
Long may I be fit enough to keep pursuing and enjoying the hobby to its fullest.
If I can also help others to achieve their full potential in the hobby in the coming years, all the better.
So get out there, enjoy the Moon and Keep Looking Up!
Below are a selection of my lunar images.
If you want to see all my other images (Astronomy and Wildlife), click here to visit my Flickr Site