Lunar astrophotography

These astrophotos were taken from my backyard in the city of Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
A Celestron C11 Telescope (11 inch Schmidt-Cassegrain) was used, on a SkyWatcher HEQ5 equatorial mount.
Camera used was a DMK 31AF03. A Barlow lens is often used to increase magnification.
Images were stacked with Registax or AviStack and processed with Paint Shop Pro 8 and some personal tools.


Statements made below, regarding lunar (geologic) history, are those of an amateur!
(who read some books on dark winter evenings ...)


More information on many facets of the moon can be found on Lunar Picture Of the Day (LPOD),
Lunar and Planetary Institute, the Project Apollo Archive, JPL Planetary Photojournal,
USGS Lunar exploration, The Moon Wiki, etc.


Theophilus.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK Theophilus Cyrillus
Theophilus and Cyrillus on April 10, 2011. DMK, yellow filter, barlow.


Kepler.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK crater Kepler rays
Rays of Kepler.
Acquisition date: December 12, 2008 (moon phase: 0.99). DMK, orange filter.



Anaxagoras.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK crater Anaxagoras rays
Rays of Anaxogoras, a young crater near the Lunar north pole. Plato and Vallis Alpes are visible at lower edge.
Acquisition date: December 12, 2008 (moon phase: 0.99). DMK, orange filter.



Neper.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK crater Neper
The central peak (and it's shadow) of Neper is nicely visible around full moon. LPOD.
Acquisition date: December 12, 2008 (moon phase: 0.99). DMK, orange filter.



Humboldt, Petavius.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK crater Humboldt
Humboldt is a large, floor-fractured crater near the limb of the moon. Famous crater Petavius is also imaged.
Acquisition date: December 12, 2008 (moon phase: 0.99). DMK, orange filter.



Drygalski, Le Gentil, Hausen.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK crater Drygalski Le Gentil Hausen Leibnitz Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK crater Drygalski Le Gentil Hausen Leibnitz
Drygalski (2), Le Gentil and hausen are large craters located on the limb of the moon, near the south pole. LPOD.
Acquisition date: December 12, 2008 (moon phase: 0.99). DMK, orange filter.



Mare Fecunditatis.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK Mare Fecunditatis
Three images were stitched to create an overview of this lunar sea. Well-known landmarks are the large craters Langrenus
and Petavius, the Goclenius Rilles and the small, mysterious double crater Messier with it's dragonfly-shaped rays.
Acquisition date: May 9, 2008. DMK with Barlow, yellow filter.



Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK Mare Nectaris
Mare Nectaris. Famous craters are Theophilus and Fracastorius.
May 12, 2008. DMK, yellow filter.
Drizzled version (factor 2)



Alpine Valley.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK Alpine Valley Vallis Alpes
It is a challenge to image Alpine Valley's (Vallis Alpes) inner channel. It is visible all the way here, thanks to good seeing.
A hi-res image (by Lunar Orbiter) can be found here.
Acquisition date: December 18, 2007. DMK with Barlow, orange filter.



Plato's craterlets.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK Plato craterlets Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK Plato craterlets
Only with fine seeing it is possible to image substantially more than 4 craterlets on Plato's floor.
The insert shows Plato (diameter 100 km) as viewed by Lunar Orbiter.
Acquisition date: December 21, 2007 (moon phase: 0.87). DMK with Barlow, orange filter.
Image at right: December 18, 2007 (moon phase: 0.56).



Hadley Rille.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK Hadley Rille
It was near Hadley Rille that Apollo 15 landed on August 7, 1971.
Acquisition date: December 18, 2007. DMK with Barlow, orange filter.



Tycho.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK crater Tycho
Tycho is a large, young crater (diameter 85 km). It's age is estimated at ca. 100 million years.
It is the origin of the Moon's brightest and largest ray system.
Acquisition date: March 28, 2007. DMK with Barlow, red filter.


Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK crater Tycho rays
Rays of Tycho.
Acquisition date: April 16, 2008. DMK with Barlow, IR filter.



Clavius.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK crater Clavius
At size 225 km, Clavius is one of the Moon's largest craters (if you exclude impact basins, which may be much bigger).
Acquisition date: March 28, 2007. DMK with Barlow, red filter.



Copernicus.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK crater Copernicus
Copernicus is a relatively young (ca. 1 billion years), large crater (diameter 100 km). Hi-res LPODs: 1, 2.
Acquisition date: March 28, 2007. DMK with Barlow, red filter.


Mare Nubium.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK Mare Nubium
Mare Nubium with the Straight Wall (Rupes Recta) (right) and floor-fractured crater Pitatus (bottom).
Acquisition date: December 18, 2007. DMK, orange filter.



Bailly.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK Bailley
Bailly is a very large crater (diameter ca. 300 km).
Acquisition date: December 22, 2007. DMK, orange filter.



Schickard, Schiller, Wargentin.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK Schickard Schiller Wargentin
Famous craters depicted here are the large crater Schickard (diameter 227 km), the strangely elongated crater Schiller
and the top-filled crater Wargentin.
Acquisition date: December 22, 2007. DMK, orange filter.



Aristarchus Plateau.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK Aristarchus
Shown here is the rectangular shaped Aristarchus Plateau and the young, very bright crater Aristarchus and it's ray pattern.
Aristarchus' age is estimated to be ca. 450 million years.
Schroter's valley is visible behind Aristarchus. At upper right is visible the half-flooded, ancient crater Prinz.
Acquisition date: December 22, 2007. DMK, orange filter.



Mare Serenitatis.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK mare Serenitatis
Under grazing illumination, Serenitatis' lava flows are well visible.
Acquisition date: May 23, 2007.



Proclus.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK crater Proclus
Proclus is a 28km diameter crater with a bright ray system. The ray pattern is very asymmetric, indicating low-angle impact.
Acquisition date: May 23, 2007.



Vellis Rheita.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK vallis rheita
Vallis Rheita is a deep scar, possibly created (through secondary cratering) during the impact which created Mare Nectaris.
See also this and this LPOD. Acquisition date: April 21, 2007.



Mare Imbrium.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK crater mare imbrium
Mare Imbrium, mosaic of multiple images. Acquisition date: June 6, 2006.

3.9 billion years ago, a large asteroid hit the moon and excavated the 1160 km wide Imbrium crater,
which later filled with lava to form the Mare Imbrium (sea of rains).
At the bottom of the image, just outside Mare Imbrium,
is the famous crater Copernicus. LPOD image
Copernicus is a relatively young crater (1 billion years, diameter 100 km); the material which was thrown out during impact is still visible as rays, extending deep into Mare Imbrium.
This star-like ray pattern is even visible to the naked eye (as a bright patch), when the moon is full.
At the upper left, near the edge of Mare Imbrium, is another ray crater: Aristillus. Clearly, this impact took place after lava filled the Imbrium crater. Just below Aristillus, to the left, is the crater Archimedes (about the same size as Copernicus). Archimedes has no rays; any impact scars are covered with mare. This shows that the process of mare filling took place much later than the Imbrium impact.


Sinus Iridium and Plato.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK crater Sinus Iridium
Acquisition date: June 6, 2006.
At the NW of Mare Imbrium are located the Sinus Iridium (rainbow bay) and crater Plato (upper right).
Both are filled with mare. Four tiny craterlets are visible in Plato's floor.
Some amateurs are able to make spectacular images of Plato,
but of course they cannot match images made by a spacecraft.


Herschel, Mare Frigoris and Plato.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK crater Plato Herschel
Acquisition date: April 16, 2008.



Mare Nectaris.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK Mare nectaris Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK Mare Nectaris
These two overlapping images (click to enlarge) show Mare Nectaris (sea of nectar). Acquisition date: September 12, 2006.

Like Imbrium, the Nectaris lunar sea was created by an impact (ca. 100 million years before the Imbrium impact);
mare filling took place later, as the flooded crater Fracastorius (bottom of image at right) testifies.
The Altai Escarpment (large semicircular ridge in left image) was created during the impact.

Ptolemaeus.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK crater Ptolemaeus Alphonsus Arzachel Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK crater Ptolemaeus
Acquisition date: May 13, 2008. DMK, yellow filter.
A famous row of craters: Ptolemaeus (note it's hexagonal shape), Alphonsus, Arzachel.
At right: Albategnius.
Image at right: Ptolemaeus on April 23, 2010.



Theophilus and Sinus Asperitatis.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK crater Theophilus Asperitatis
Acquisition date: September 12, 2006.
Theophilus is a famous crater. Note several ghost craters.



Mare Cognitum.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK mare Cognitum
Several spacecraft landed in Mare Cognitum, like Apollo 12 and 14. The large eroded crater left of the center is Fra Mauro.
Acquisition date: June 5, 2006.



Hippalus rilles.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK crater Hippalus rilles
Acquisition date: June 6, 2006.
See LPOD for a beautiful image of these rilles.



Mare Humorum and Hippalus rilles.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK crater Hippalus rilles Mare Humorum
Acquisition date: April 16, 2008. DMK, IR filter.



Mare Crisium.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK Mare Crisium
Note that this lunar sea has a hexagonal shape.
Acquisition date: May 9, 2008 (evening twilight). DMK, yellow filter.



Rupes Recta.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK crater Rupes Recta
(click to enlarge) Acquisition date: May 6, 2006. Used Barlow.
The Rupes Recta (straight wall) is well visible under low light illumination.



Lacus Mortis.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK crater Lacus mortis
Acquisition date: September 12, 2006. See also this LPOD.



Mare Tranquillitatis.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK crater Mare Tranquillitatis
Acquisition date: September 12, 2006.
It is in the Mare Tranquillitatis (Sea of Silence) that man first set foot on another world.



South Pole.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK crater Moretus
Acquisition date: October 13, 2006.
The South Pole is heavily cratered. Eye-catcher is the crater Moretus (diam. 111 km) with it's large central peak.



Moretus.

Moon Lunar astrophotography DMK Moretus
Acquisition date: December 18, 2007. DMK with Barlow, orange filter.



Fantasy (but it happened, long ago!).

Moon Lunar astrophotography asteroid impact crater
(click to enlarge)

What happens if a 50 km asteroid slams into the moon at 20 kilometres per second?
Read an expert's opinion on LPOD!



Moon map, with 'flying over the poles' (Flash version).

Moon map panorama flash shaded relief USGS

This image shows a (downscaled) shaded relief map of the moon.
The original map was retrieved from here (ftp) (courtesy of the USGS).
This USGS map is a equirectangular projection. I added grid lines and converted it to Flash format,
such that it is viewable as a sperical panorama.
Click on the image to open the panorama. In such a panorama you can view in any direction.
Use the mouse or left/right/up/down arrows. Use SHIFT to zoom in, CTRL to zoom out.
I made this panorama because I wanted to 'fly over the poles' in order to get more insight
into the distribution of craters there.
Note that the Virtual Moon Atlas 4 does not support such 'flying over the poles'.





Planets, stars, etc.


The "seeing" over Holland
Orion constellation stars astrophotography

Wide field astrophotography (low budget)



[© P. van de Haar. Page started November 25, 2006. This page was last updated on April 11, 2011]


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