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Video of the Moon through telescope (Feb 15, 2008)

February 16th, 2008 by Maxim · 3 Comments · 6,749 Views

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You need to have flashplayer enabled to watch this Google video

Video of the Moon shot through Meade ETX-125AT telescope with just a simple cheap Canon A620 7.1MP point-and-shoot camera that can also take 640×480 videos at 30fps. The camera is mounted on top of 26mm eyepiece.
You won’t see THE flag, but you can quite clearly see craters and mountain ridges, especially along the shadow.
The thing that got me shooting that night was, ehm, too much coffee, and Mars. I will soon publish photos of the Moon and Mars together on this website:
The problem with shooting Moon and Mars at the same time is that the Moon is so bright I have to take shorter exposures, or else it turns into bright white circle. But at shorter exposure times the tiny Mars doesn’t get enough exposure. The trick I used on more or less successful photos is to push ISO to the maximum and using shortest possible exposure. At this setting camera will pick up a lot of noise, but short exposure is great for at least these reasons:

  • the Moon and Mars move across the sky at enormous speed, so longer exposure will deter sharpness.
  • the telescope is also shaking, especially noticeable at these magnification ratios (78-200x).

The black area around the image is caused by the telescope lens: it’s long enough and the lens of the camera is wide enough to get in sight. The circle nearly disappears at full zoom on the camera, but it’s also a lot harder for camera toauto-focus at full zoom. It is also true for the digial SLR like my Canon EOS 20D: at full zoom with 300mm zoom lens and especially with an extra 2x teleconverter it’s almost impossible to focus the image.

I also had an idea to connect video cable to the camera and feed it on the big-screen TV, 46″ Sharp Aquos. Will try that soon.

Original-size video

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