The Moon – A love/hate relationship

I very much have a love/hate relationship with the Moon. Whilst I can appreciate it’s stunning beauty I tend to find it mostly frustrating!

Astrophotography whilst the moon is bright can be challenging – especially if you’re not imaging using narrowband filters.

I’m no lunar/planetary imager – but I will stick my toe in the water from time to time. It’s a very different beast to the usual deep-sky stuff I do, where I’m entirely focused on the tracking stability of very long sub exposures (most of my work is done with 5 minute subs).

On an insanely bright target like the Moon, I’m taking VERY short exposures (usually as a video) and then stacking a very small subset of the best of those frames, to try and smooth out the wobbling effect of the atmopshere.

This shot was the best 20% of 1000 frames, taken with an exposure time of 3.2 MILLISECONDS.

I’ve done some final tweaking in Photoshop to try and bring out some of the natural colour.

Annoyingly, for something that took me about 15 minutes all in (including the post-processing) this image has gained more “oohs and ahhhs” than some of the deep sky images that I’ve spent weeks producing!

Click the image for the full resolution SUPER ZOOMABLE version.

Bloody Moon! 😀