Moon Shot

January 26, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

MoonMoon

In 2010 I found a twenty-five centimetre reflector telescope buried behind a friend's hot tub. After hunting down the tripod and computer and ordering a camera adaptor I finally got the thing set up and pointed at a lump of rock some 384,000 kilometres away. Considering the distance and that the telescope was mounted on the surface of a planet rotating at up to one thousand six hundred kilometres an hour*, it's reasonably sharp for 1/6th of a second. 

The large circle of mountains and craters on the left under the terminator is Mare Imbrium and the smaller pointy area to its right is Mare Serenitatis. At least that's what it looks like to me from The Full Moon Atlas.

*An object on the surface of the Earth at the equator moves at around 1600 km/h but in Southern Ontario where this picture was taken it's closer to 1200 km/h. Of course the moon is moving too, but for the purposes of intercepting photons bounced off it our rotation is likely the biggest source of blur. After doing some sums, it looks like in 1/6th of a second the moon will appear to have moved about 4.5 kilometres. The large crater at the top of Mare Imbrium is Plato, it is 109 km in diameter and coincidentally it's about 100 pixels across in the original picture. So the blur should be in the region of about 4 or 5 pixels—which seems about right.


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