Crater Clavius and surrounds

In celebration for being on this planet for threescore years and ten, I upgraded my astrophotography armoury, firstly with an equatorial “goto” mount (Skywatcher Star Adventurer GTi), and secondly with a new camera, the ZWO ASI715MC. The equatorial mount solves the problem of field rotation in long exposures, and also the occasional glitches in tracking that I have with the alt-az telescope mount (which will have a continuing use both for astronomy and for amateur radio). This first image taken with a reasonably good sky (I have waited for ages; I took some images a few days earler, but they were through cloud and not as good!) is of the area of the Moon’s south polar regions centred on the crater Clavius.

The images are taken from videos about 30 seconds long, with a frame capture rate of around 100 frames per second, to try to pick up times when the atmosphere is fairly stable. That night, it wasn’t, particularly! However, fancy processing software (AutoStakkert!) picks out the best frames and stacks them, then I used a feature of Registax (wavelets) to sharpen (effectively deconvolve) the images.

The second image is from a bit further north, centred on Tycho:

Tycho and surrounds

We’re moving down to the north, yes it’s upside down, I’m a very old astronomer who was brought up on real telescopes that you look through!

We next come to a surprise (for me); it’s the Straight Wall, a well-known feature, which I actually drew many years ago. Looking through the eyepiece when preparing for this imaging session I hadn’t even noticed it, so was really pleased to see it appear in my processed image!

Moon's straight wall (centre)

Further still to the north is the crater Eratosthenes at the edge of Mare Imbrium:

Finally, we have Plato. Lots of ancient Greeks here!

I am very pleased with this first attempt at detailed lunar imaging; it gives me great hope for further improvement, and a real chance to get some better planetary images later in the year.