A Yellow First Quarter Moon

Well, it’s the third quarter gibbous moon now I guess. I haven’t taken a look outdoors yet but I know we should be having a full moon soon.

This shot was taken last Sunday night while the moon was low over the horizon. It was a good thing my daughter and I got to take it then because after about 45 minutes it was behind a building and finally gone.

Yellow First Quarter Moon
Yellow First Quarter Moon

It has a yellowish colour which I know has something to do with particles in the atmosphere among other things. I’ll have to ask old Wikipedia or some astronomy sites to remember why. I followed the tips given by Anthony Urbano a.k.a. Eteny over at his site Night Sky in Focus. He’s a local astronomer/astro-photographer who has been very helpful and encouraging with my own baby steps in this field.

I did some post-processing on one of the moonshots I took with the new Barlow a couple of weeks ago. Here she is…

1st shot at post-processing image taken from the mov file of the moon
Extracted from the Movie ClipProcessed with View NX2
Extracted from the Movie Clip, slightly better than the first one, processed with View NX2

For the yellow quarter-moon image, I decided to go up to the 6th floor of one of the residential buildings instead of the clubhouse party area where we used to go. I wanted an obstructed view of the open sky facing the Ortigas business district and Manila Bay direction. At our old viewing deck the adjacent residential buildings limited our view of the sky and horizon.

I placed the telescope on the walkway connecting the elevator building with the rest of residential units (no more hauling heavy telescope gear over stairs). The walkway was the only place without any walls to block the view of the horizon. The downside to this was that it was very windy and the walkway itself felt like it was vibrating with the wind. This meant that the telescope (and the camera attached to it) kept shaking. Now that was a bit of a bummer because I couldn’t get any crispier images of the moon.

I also finally understood the importance of using a motorized tracking mount. I set the camera to take multiple exposures using the 10 sec self-timer. From the Live View monitor I watched the moon slowly move out of the monitor as I waited for the camera to finish taking the pictures. And I had to keep adjusting the telescope of course just to keep the moon in view, which proved to be very tiring also. It looks like I may need that special mount…

I guess this was also what they meant when they said astrophotography is an expensive hobby. The fun part is that I still have a lot to learn. Hey, if you have any tips or suggestions for taking better photos I’m all ears, okay?

I’m supposed to go out tonight for more moonshots but I decided to postpone it to the weekend. I picked up some new links from Jerry to help with the post-processing. I hope they’re easier to use than photoshop or other software. I wanted to check these out first before heading off again. I’m still working on the raw images I got from last Sunday’s session.

And another thing I’m learning…this takes up a lot of time!! Maybe that’s why it’s called a hobby…

So my blogger friends, if you have any tips, tricks or suggestions related to moonshots (lunar imaging), you’re more than welcome to share them here. I’m still learning and maybe I can learn from you or we can learn together…

Till the next moonshots…clear skies everyone and God bless you all!

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