Full moon madness


Finally,after months of shivering and snow I was able to get the scope out for some eye piece time.It was almost completely dark (or as dark as it can get on a full moon lit night) when I decided to set up.After not setting the scope up for night viewing in almost 5 months it was like having to relearn the scope again.The setup went well until I became ready for alignment and that is when all hell broke loose.To begin with,the power cord that I was using has a loose wire which caused sporadic power loss to the scope.I found the problem and replaced the cord with a better one and proceeded with the alignment.After performing a 2 star alignment I slewed the scope to a few different targets to check for pointing and tracking and all was good.My first target was Saturn and 3 visible moons.I connected the laptop and LPI for some imaging and for some unknown reason,my Autostar imaging program kept crashing my Pc.It took almost 2 hours of restore and reinstalling the software to get the camera to work properly.Heh,sounds easy huh?.Try doing it in the moon light and cooling temps.My temper level rose dramatically in a very short period of time!.Finally,when I got the problem fixed I only had a short period of time to get reacquainted with the imaging program and take some shots before Saturn set behind a building.The shots I took were less than desirable but,when full moon madness set in I didn’t really care.I then slewed my scope towards the moon and was almost blinded by how bright it was.Heh,been there done that!.

During the course of getting shots of the moon with the DSI,the noise level in town kept getting louder.Their were as many people on the streets at midnight as their normally would be at 2pm.Is this activity due to the full moon or it caused from cabin fever?.My personal opinion is that it is caused from cabin fever (which is real by the way) and not the full moon.Again,in my opinion,a full moon  has zero effect on people!.The only thing it effects is the amount of light reaching  Earth at night.I have heard about police officers saying “yup,full moon tonight.Going to be a busy night”.Heh,going to be a busy night because,everything is so well lit and they can see the crimes being committed.

The image below is a result of might efforts last night.It is a stack of 65 images and was proceeded with Photoshop.The orientation is off as east is up.Note Mare Smythii at the very edge of the eastern limb.

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6 Responses to “Full moon madness”

  1. Sounds like a typical observing session 🙂 Nice pic of the Moon and thanks for pointing out Mare Smythii – Sky & Telescope just had an article about features on the “dark” side of the moon that periodically are visible. Glad things have warmed up enough for you to get out the scope – I look forward to more astrophotography.

  2. Great shot and story,lol been there done that, like you said this all happens in the cold dark, and with me the flashlight batteries are always burned out, like you I have to relearn the whole system over again, only having 3 or 4 months of time on it a year.

  3. Thanks Bob,
    Heh,the oddly funny part about the problems I experienced was that I was suppose to go to a star party at a good friends house.Reason I didn’t was that I have a neck and shoulder strain that caused me to decline the invite.I’m sort of glad I didn’t because,the problems I had were easily fixed as I would never have thought of taking a autostar CD to fix the bugs that my Pc experienced.
    Oh well,Friday night is suppose to be clear which gives me another try at re-learning everything.

  4. Hi Andrew,
    I agree with the others it is a great shot. You capture both M. Marginiis & M. Smythii showing them pretty well librated. As a result of observing from early evening on, I see eastern librations far more than western ones.

    I can appreciate your frustration. It’s just the opposite of being in the zone. I’m not any purist but the problems with power and scope are to be avoided – starhop. Set up and observe. Just can’t take stunning photos of deep sky.

    Hope you can gets out more often with clear skies.
    All the best. peter

  5. Hi Peter,it is really good to hear from you and hope all is well.The problems I had in the beginning were due to cobwebs and rust.Heh,thats my excuse and I’m sticking with it…hahahahahah ;P .I agree with set up and observe,which is something that I have strayed away from since buying the big scope.I think I have been spoiled by todays technology?!.All things considered,the night went rather well.Tonight,the skies are forecasted to be clear with good seeing so,if all goes well I will be set up at a decent hour to test the equipment.FYI,their is a new comet coming into view and will be a mag +6 in May.Perhaps I will try to find tonight (fingers crossed)!.

  6. Great pic man! sorry I’ve been silent… finals and all, but soon done!

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