Monday, 17 December 2007

Moon shot

Well my telescope and camera are pretty primitive, so the deep sky objects are a bit hit and miss - well ok, they're mostly miss. However the moon is much more tractable - its a lot brighter to start with so doesn't need long exposures.
I tried a couple of shots of the moon with just the camera, mounted on an attachment to keep it still, and the results aren't really that impressive. The camera boasts a 3x optical zoom, but even then its a bit tiny.

Even when zoomed in, its not that good a picture.

The next obvious step is to attach the camera to the telescope and take a picture that way. They come out somewhat better as you might hope.

Its not bad, buts its a little fuzzy around the edges.

However, rather suprisingly you can get some very good images attaching the camera to the telescope and using its video mode. The moon soon drifts out of view, so you can only get about 30-45 seconds worth of images, but they are quite good (although they are taken at 640x480 resolution). What you do is take the video, load it onto the computer, convert from .MOV to .AVI file, and then use the program Registax to process it. This program will lock onto a feature and track it as it moves from frame to frame. Then, it will stack together all the good frame images into one, so reducing noise, and then gives you the option to sharpen it up.
The results are pretty good I have to say, even though I'm still learning what half the settings do.

Now that's more like it!

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