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Contains:  Solar system body or event
The beautiful colours of Crater Copernicus, 


            Niall MacNeill

The beautiful colours of Crater Copernicus

Acquisition type: Lucky imaging

Technical card

Date:May 3, 2020

Time: 09:05

Frames: 2500

FPS: 14.00000

Focal length: 13500

Seeing: 4

Transparency: 8

Resolution: 1000x667

Locations: Home property, Wattle Flat, NSW, Australia

Data source: Backyard


This is a very high resolution colour image of the crater Copernicus, which is 93kms in diameter. I increased the focal length more than I have done when imaging the moon previously and went up to the 3X Barlow. Previously I was using the 2.5X Powermate, but recent trials with the planets showed that when the seeing is very good as it was here, I was under-sampling and not getting the full potential from the imaging system. In others words there weren’t enough pixels for the detail available in the image from the telescope. Of course that means a smaller FOV.
I would draw your attention to the array of colours in the crater and its surrounds. Of course they are all within a grey theme :-). The right flank of the crater has a distinctly brown hue whereas the rampart at left, up to the edge of the crater, is more white/ grey. The ejecta immediately to the left of the crater is mottled with dark greys and towards the bottom there is a very subtle pink colour.
The floor of the crater is almost two-tone, with the left side in the image with a rougher surface lighter in colour and to the right it is smoother and a darker grey/ brown. The cliffs of the terraced walls at right can be seen in tremendous detail and with the crater being 3.8 kms deep they must be a terrifying sight to look over from the top. Of course you would be looking down to the beautiful terraces created as the walls slumped after impact.
The whiter areas, generally mean more freshly exposed material as the weathering from micrometeorites and solar radiation tends to darken the terrain over time. The two small craters above Copernicus at 1 o’clock in the image seem to have lighter coloured surrounds for example.
I measured the smaller craters in the floor of Copernicus at ~ 500m in diameter and this corresponds to a resolution of 0.27 arc secs and that is around the optical limit of the telescope. In other words this is what you could see with it if there were no atmosphere to look through.
For all the selenophiles amongst you.



Niall MacNeill
License: None (All rights reserved)


The beautiful colours of Crater Copernicus, 


            Niall MacNeill