Sunday, February 9, 2014


After a solid week of rather cloudy skies we had somewhat clear skies this evening over the Lost Pleiad Observatory.  While there were some passing cirrus, it was a very comfortable night to open up the roof and let the telescopes do what they do best- collect photons.  Tonights target for the little ASI120MC camera was the lunar crater Copernicus. This is a crater well known to most amateur astronomers as it dominates the Earth facing side of the moon and has a very large and bright set of rays extending from it.  The image below is a stack of about 500 frames aligned and stacked in Registax, with some additional sharpening in Photoshop.  It was taken through my Celestron 11 inch Edge HD SCT.

While this is certainly a reasonable image given my skill and the average seeing conditions, I can not look at any lunar images without thinking about the amazing images generated by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The images below are the central peak region of Copernicus and give you an idea of just how impressive the images from LRO are.  Make sure and click the images to enlarge them to full size!

If you want to read more about these images and see others, check out this blog post from the LRO camera. If you have not had enough (and how could you?!?) watch the video below...and turn up the speakers to listen to the narration.


  1. Hi Alan- Nice post! I was surprised to click on the LRO closeup of the center mountains, and see the shadow provide a facial profile of a human, not unlike the Cochise Head in Chiricahuas. Did you spot it? -Dean

  2. I do now! You are right- a very good catch Dean!