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Lunar Mosaic with I.C.E ( 153 separate images )


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Evening all.

Had the Celestron 8HD  in galaxy imaging mode the other night, but could not resist having a look at the Moon.  I had a go at the three little craters named after the Apollo astronauts and found them a bit more of a tougher prospect than I had at first presumed..... anyway...another  story.

The camera is an Atik 414ex mono. CCD, probably not the accepted first choice at Lunar imaging.  Setting it on  0.001secs exposure I just let the scope track back and forth across all the illuminated areas.

My thinking was to later pick out maybe 5 or 6 key  images and stitch them together to get the whole Moon.  

When it came to processing, my goto stitching software is ICE  (Image Composition Editor, which is free).  I thought, what the heck, lets just put all the lot in and see if the computer starts venting steam or it will take a googolplex of minutes to process. 

Well, 153 images, and it took about 40 minutes on a medium spec. PC.

Here are a few screen captures of the process..




and the final result (after a bit of  auto-tone and sharpening in PS).


Not too bad....  

You get some blotchy background space areas  if  you stretch the image too much in terms of levels and contrast, but with the Moon being so bright it tends to be "less is more" in terms of processing.

I imagine it is not as detailed as the 'best 10%' of 4000 shots video mosaic method  (PIPP >> AS3!>>Stitch) , but it is a lot quicker to capture in the first place and not too time consuming to process, I left it overnight and went to bed.









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Nice shot. ICE is an excellent tool for lunar mosaics. You don't actually need to get so much black area around the moon, using the auto-complete function the program readily adds black bits to the background as needed. That saves quite a bit of capture time too, especially if you do take 500-1000 frames per to stack for each sub (240 GB data for a whole moon, but stacking can be done in AS13 overnight in batch mode).

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