The following image just might be my very best lunar image of all I’ve acquired until now:
The reasoning behind my affirmation is that the processing and acquisition performed for this image have resulted in something new for lunar imaging performed by amateurs.
“High-Resolution” (or HR for short) in amateur terms means that the details present on a lunar image have less than one kilometer. “High-Dynamic-Range” (or HDR for short) for lunar shots means that you can basically see both brightly illuminated regions but also in the very “deep black” inside craters that are viewed at very low Sun altitudes. This was done by other amateurs for quite a while now.
What is the “novelty” in my case: under the same illumination, let’s say a near-terminator one, the details beyond the day/night line are invisible, or too dim to be able to get a HR image even with the best cameras around at the moment. The HDR-combination I’ve performed for this image makes use of two different illuminations, so normally one such shot will be impossible to create on the same imaging session. To be able to overlay one image onto the other from two different nights, one must have extremely similar libration conditions, seeing, magnification factor (equipment) and processing routine. This is exactly what I had after one month from the first image.
The image above is created from two shots acquired in the mornings of September 4th and October 5th, 2015. In both occasions, the seeing was very good. The illumination was quite different: the image from September has the Sun at a higher altitude compared with the very low altitude from the October image. So, having these two different conditions, the combined “HDR” shot presents both the finer details as seen from above, and the elevation information due to the low angle illumination.
The three-image sequence below shows just what details are visible from the two initial images. Note there is some missing data in the October 5th image (lower left corner).
The color data for the first image in this post was overlayed from a two-years old global image. It might not be the very best color rendition for the region, but it does show a lot of differences in the materials present on the lunar surface around crater Triesneker.
Compare the color view with the “normal” Black-and-White version:
A lot of information can be extracted from this last image (even without the color data), with some regions looking almost three-dimensional, but the colors do impress the retina a bit more 🙂
I can only hope to find more image-pairs since I’m just starting to process the data from my last three imaging sessions from October.
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