Monday, May 8, 2017

First Light (on the Moon) with the CATE project equipment

Last Saturday I picked up most of the equipment for the C.A.T.E. project and received great training from our Oregon coordinator. Due to the fact that the solar filters had not yet arrived we were unable to practice on the Sun. However the training was necessary and it was good to put "hands on" all the rest of the equipment and still practice with it.
Last evening while the Sun was still up I set up the equipment in the backyard and did a little practice on the nearly full Moon.
The program they provided that will be used for the total eclipse of the Sun does not allow me to adjust exposures for high dynamic range photography (HDR) and though it takes 8 exposures in a set for HDR purposes only the least exposed image of  was useful:

It was very under-exposed but with a little post-processing I was able to get this image:

Due to the fact that this image was taken in BROAD DAYLIGHT I was quite pleased with the result.
By the way, the Moon was only about 35 degrees above the eastern horizon and the Sun was still up in the west. Under this kind of lighting the result is always a low contrast image.

Still, I thought I could draw our a little more contrast. So I went to work on it and came up with this:

The original image was taken with a Point Grey camera that is only produces a black and white image but is 5 megapixel, which I think would take a common DSLR color camera at 15 megapixels to produce due to the fact that it take 4 pixels to produce a single color.

I will write up more about the scope, mount, camera, etc in a later post.

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