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Leo Triplet v The MOON


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I got on really well with the leo triplet last week and I want more data however the Moon is now with us, am I wasting my time on the Leo Triplet Kit used is in my sig and the filter I use does reduce LP

Thoughts appreciated


John B

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Hi John - Most good light pollution filters tend to cut out the main bandwidths of Sodium/mercury streetlights, leaving the rest of the spectrum available to be captured. Moon glow is broadband spectrum so is also emitting the light that you want to capture - Subsequently the moon will always effect images to a degree when its up.

You can obviously try imaging before the moon rises (not easy this evening) or after it sets (again not easy this evening) or you can try and choose an object in an area of sky as far away as possible from the moon, but even then there will almost certainly be a detrimental effect. Unless using a narrowband filter it's very tricky imaging whilst the moon is about... unless you're imaging the moon that is.

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That's a tricky one - I loathe trying to plan a night's imaging as invariably when I'm half way through I find another object that I wish I'd seen earlier!

The obvious would be a nice big full moon mosaic... However, if not too keen on that then keeping in mind the advice I was given not to bother with faint fuzzies when the moon is up, I would probably look at imaging some open clusters. In the South / South West, M44 / Beehive cluster might be an option (although with your 250 the FOV might be a bit narrow), or maybe M35 / M37...? However, depending on your view, they'd be disappearing by midnight.

You've also got NGC2244 (Rosette) and 2264 (Cone) in that area too but again, as fuzzies they may be effected too much by the moon and they'd be disappearing even sooner. However, you could try setting up as early as you can and seeing what an exposure looks like (unguided, high ISO) just to see if it was worth grabbing some "real" frames? You might be able to get a couple of hours before it disappears (to add to on another night) and then you could perhaps grab one of those clusters before it too disappears...?

I think that's what I'd probably do with a full moon and a Westerly view, although it would be disappointing to have to cut the session short at midnight ish... If you also have a view to the North, the moon will then be in the South, so you could have a look there maybe? IC 1396 (Elephants Trunk) is starting to rise in the North after midnight, although maybe it's a little early in the year and again not really ideal with a full moon...

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Hi John - Kevin is certainly right, and as I noted, this is the advice I was also given (it may even have been BY Kevin!).

My first guided image of the Horsehead was VERY disappointing due to it being a full moon at the time and to be honest, this is the reason I got the Mak 180 - So I could do something on moonlit nights!

Albeit not M81, I can show you the result of M82 taken during a full moon Stargazers Lounge - AndyUK's Album: MN190 - Picture. One day I'll have another go at this as I KNOW the scope can do a lot better - 180s was as long as I could get that night without overexposing the sky (see histogram), but I can usually get 600-900s with no moon...

EDIT: Oh, I forgot to add - I use Stellarium for planning also (my starlore is attrocious!). If you tweak the settings it displays more possible objects...



Edited by AndyUK
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