Capturing the Moon

After weeks of waiting, the conditions were perfect to view a near-full moon, high in the sky and with dark skies, not affected by light pollution.

Out came the telescope, set up at the front of the house. I fitted the 20mm lens and aimed roughly for the moon. However, frustration set in as despite the moon being in clear view, I could not get it in view, in the viewfinder. After 10 minutes of panning the scope around the sky, I eventually found it purely by chance and wow, what a view!

With the disc in full view in the viewfinder, all the craters and maria were revealed in sharp detail. Changing to smaller lenses brought more of the moon into view, along with the aiming problem. I’ve come to realise that I have some problem where the red dot finder is completely out of alignment and I need to re-calibrate it so that I can aim the scope correctly.

The 2mm lens is proving to be of limited use at the moment, because even though the seeing conditions at lower levels of magnification were fine, the 2mm lens revealed a shimmer in the atmosphere, so I changed back to a 5mm lens.

Grabbing the opportunity to try some direct digital imaging, I got my camera (a Canon S2IS) out and gently pressed its lens against the lens on the telescope. After some moving around of the camera against the lens and some alterations to the camera focal length and aperture (either f3.5 1/60 or f3.2 at 1/60), I managed to capture the following shots:-




































The images have had a little post-processing applied to highlight the dark and light areas of the image, but for a first attempt, I’m pretty pleased and take some inspiration from the attempt.

I must really try and get this red dot finder problem sorted out though…

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