Contains:  Solar system body or event
Earth's Moon, RGB, 4 May 2020, 


            David Dearden

Earth's Moon, RGB, 4 May 2020

Acquisition type: Lucky imaging

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Astro-Tech AT8IN

Imaging cameras: ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool

Mounts: Skywatcher NEQ-6 Pro Synscan

Focal reducers: High Point Scientific Coma Corrector Photo & Visual For Netwonian Telescopes 2"

Software: Emil Kraaikamp Autostackert!  ·  SharpCap  ·  AstroPlanner  ·  Cartes du Ciel  ·  EQASCOM  ·  photoshop

Filters: ZWO Red 31 mm  ·  ZWO Green 31 mm  ·  ZWO Blue 31 mm

Accessory: Robert Brown's Arduino ASCOM Focuser Pro DIY  ·  ZWO EFW filter wheel

Date:May 4, 2020

Time: 22:00

Frames: 2700

FPS: 9.00000

Focal length: 900

Seeing: 3

Transparency: 9

Resolution: 2720x2752

Locations: Mapleton Lateral Observatory, Mapleton, Utah, United States

Data source: Backyard


~1.5 light-sec (~250,000 miles)

Under the mantra “when the Moon is out, shoot the Moon” I decided to try an RGB image of the Moon so I could play around with “mineral” processing. I do so little lunar/planetary astrophotography that it felt like I was learning it all over again, but SharpCap and Autostakert! are both fairly intuitive; I spent a lot of time trying to figure out where the controls to my focuser were in SharpCap, but eventually I found them. I stacked the best 25% of frames for each color channel, using automatic alignment point selection in Autostakert!. I manually aligned R, G, & B, followed by an “autocolor” in Photoshop. “Mineral” processing literally involved nothing more than boosting the saturation way up. Finally, I did a little unsharp mask sharpening to both. I intend to post both the “normal” RGB (see the "Original" image) and the “mineral” version. It is amazing to me how much the “mineral” version brings up details, but I worry that some of the details are really just from misaligning the color channels.

Date: 4 May 2020
Subject: the Moon
Scope: AT8IN+High Point Scientific Coma Corrector (~900 mm FL)
Mount: Skywatcher EQ-6
Guiding: none
Camera: ZWO ASI1600MM-cool at auto-aim (~51), -20 °C
Acquisition: SharpCap 3.1.1586.0
Exposure: ~900 frames (120 sec) SER captured at about 9 fps for each of RGB
Stacking: Autostakkert, best 25%, automatic alignpoints, sharpened; Photoshop manual RGB align and unsharp mask 100% 2 pixels, Astronomy Tools Astroframe.



David Dearden
License: None (All rights reserved)


  • Earth's Moon, RGB, 4 May 2020, 


            David Dearden
  • Earth's Moon, RGB, 4 May 2020, 


            David Dearden
  • Final
    Earth's Moon, RGB, 4 May 2020, 


            David Dearden


Description: This is the "mineral" version, simply with enhanced saturation.


Description: "Mineral" version with no additional sharpening applied per Michael Feigenbaum's suggestion. I think I like this one better.


Earth's Moon, RGB, 4 May 2020, 


            David Dearden