|Object: Waning Gibbous Moon (Mosaic)
Time & Date: Approx 3:58AM to 4:24AM EDT (7:58 - 8:24 UT) September 02, 2007
Exposures: 27 x 16 x 1/60 sec ISO200 (432 Total exposures)
Camera: Modified Canon XT (350D)
Equipment: 10" f/10 Meade OTA, 2x Celestron Ultima Barlow, and Losmandy
Software: dcraw, Registar, AutoPano Pro, Registax 4, and Picture Window
Info: This is, without a doubt, the most difficult astrophoto I have
ever attempted to date. I set up and pre-focused the evening before.
Then (against my nature) awoke at 3:50 AM, refined the scope's focus and
exposure and started shooting around 4:05 AM. In each location I shot 16
exposures and then moved to the next location. After a few minutes I had
the entire moon captured in RAW files. I then used dcraw to produce half
size 16 bit tiff files to further decrease image noise. Each set of
tiffs were then stacked using Registar 1.0.7. The resulting stacked "tiles"
were then combined using AutoPano Pro 1.3.0. The mosaic was saved as a size
reduced 4083 x 3014 16 bit PNG file so it could be loaded into Registax 4 where it
underwent wavelet processing. The image then underwent final saturation,
curves processing, and resizing in Picture Window Pro.
I did learn a few lessons. First, I underexposed the original raw file
by about 2 stops, This as it turns out was a bad idea because the noise
was harder to process out. I did not use any noise reduction in the
image but I did use a couple iterations thru the Registar "Calibration"
that results in a great reduction in noise. Overall, I'm pleased. I
figured that If I could ever take a "photo" of the moon in which the
Hadley Rille was visible I would consider it a success. Well parts of it
are just visible in the full size image and I can clearly make out
Crater Hadley C so... I will only be able to do better with better
atmospheric conditions. After looking at the image on the web, I noticed
that Crater Byrgius was really ugly so I changed
the saturation to be somewhat less harsh and more natural.