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Nice Moon in 5 minutes!


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I recently put together a gem of a little set-up:

A 102mm SkyWatcher refractor (500mm OTA) on a little EQ3-2 mount (motorized 2 axes).

Whenever I observe I need to go out on a shared balcony, so I don't leave my stuff outside. I leave the OTA permanently attached to the mount and I can easily hand carry everything together outside in a jiffy. Plus, I've found the EQ3-2 very forgiving when it comes to aligning: I can't see Polaris from where I am. I have a general idea of where North is, and with a few quick tweaks, that seems to be enough for this gem of a little mount (I really love it!).

I can attach an Orion SSPIAG in no time, and I'm all set for AP.

(But this set-up is really not beefy enough for a DSLR).

Tuesday evening I was surprised by the setting Moon between two cloud banks. I really had very little time to do anything, but I rushed inside and in 5 minutes was capturing the 3 photos needed to make the mosaic below.

I'd say that's pretty good for a 5min. set-up! (Including SSPIAG and laptop!).

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Thank you very much, friends.

I forgot the details:

Mosaic of 3 SSPIAG pictures of 500 frames each;

Registax 5;

PhotoShop 7 (only used to stitch the mosaic together and framing. No other processing).

Edited by mag10
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Thanks John.

As the moon was setting and really low, that colour is all natural (well, as "natural" as the camera recorded it).

I am prone to colour enhancement on PhotoShop, but not this time. I didn't see the need for it.

As for the framing, many people have commented favorably on it.

I just remembered my lessons in "regular" photography:

Outside of formal portraits, one should try as much as possible never to center the subject.

Off-center subjects generally seem more interesting and dynamic.

I'm not sure that's always true, or possible, for astrophotography, but in this case it seems to have worked.

Edited by mag10
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Nice, well done. Those Orion cams are pretty good at lunar/planetary work. Even so, you've produced a lovely, atmospheric shot.

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Thanks lightbucket.

I had a peek at your web page.

Very nice. I think I'd like to start something like that myself.

I might PM you for some advice on how to get set up.

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