MOON and PLANETS
Moon_Trio_260312.jpg (370883 bytes) THE MOON with Venus and Jupiter in the western sky, from Spain on 26th March, 2012.  Taken with the Canon EOS 50D and a 200mm Tamron lens.
Leonid.jpg (69158 bytes) LEONID METEOR.  This super photo of a bright meteor entering Earth's atmosphere was taken by North Houston Astronomy Club member, Dick Locke at the height of the 2001 storm.  The photo was subsequently used as part of the closing sequence in a Science Fiction Movie.
Comet_Ikeya_Zhang_15March2002.jpg (130724 bytes) This shot of the bright comet, Ikeya-Zhang, low in the western sky was taken Friday March 15th, 2002 through our 4 inch Takahashi FSQ refractor.  It is a composite of 9 minutes luminance and 3 minutes for each color.  You can clearly see the fan shaped nature of the tail, which extends much further than the frame size of our camera.  You can also see how the tail bends slightly to the left.
Comet_C2000WM1_LINEAR_17June2002.jpg (226448 bytes) COMET C2001WM1_LINEAR, imaged on 17th June, 2002 using our C-14 and the ST7-E camera.  That evening the comet was located very close in the sky to globular cluster Messier 13.
Jupiter_RGB_23Dec2000.jpg (4799 bytes) JUPITER - Largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter rotates very rapidly on it's axis, so fast that the atmosphere is dragged into the brown and white bands and streaks which you can see in this image.  This image was prepared by taking 20 x 0.01second 3x3 binned images in each color, selecting six of the best of each color and then combining all the images in MaxIm.  A high pass filter was applied and  the red spot is visible, although Jupiter's rapid rotation has blurred it slightly.
Moon_151210_3.jpg (279557 bytes) The Moon - Taken in Spain on 14th December, 2010 using a 300mm lens and Canon EOS 50D camera.
Moon_Oct2007.jpg (54413 bytes) The Moon - Taken from our Spanish observatory in October 2007.  The moon is approximately 5 days old in this photo, taken with the Canon EOS 10D camera and a 300mm telephoto lens.  The camera was hand-held.
Moon _11Aug2001.jpg (107584 bytes) The Moon - taken on 11th August, 2001 at Terlingua Ranch, west Texas using our Takahashi FSQ-106 telescope at f/5.  The last quarter moon was just rising over the mountains and had clearly decided to spoil our night of imaging - so we decided to take a picture of it.  A blue filter was used to reduce the amount of light, and the exposure is one frame at 0.01 seconds
moon7_labelled.jpg (243635 bytes) A couple of labeled images of the moon, taken with the C-14 telescope at f/7 from Terlingua Ranch west Texas in June 2003.  This shot is of the rugged and heavily cratered south polar area.  Both this and the next image were taken with the ST-8XE CCD camera through a blue filter and were 0.01 seconds in duration
moon9_labelled.jpg (486355 bytes) This image is centered around the craters Copernicus and Kepler.  The moon was about 6 days away from new and had just risen over the mountains which surround our observing area at the ranch
Moon_Copernicus_4March2001.jpg (62928 bytes) Another shot of Copernicus, which is 11,483 feet deep, from the top of the crater walls to the floor.  You can see the double mountain in the center. This image was taken in March 2001 at f-11 with our C-14 and is a single exposure of 0.01 seconds through a blue filter. A small amount of sharpening was used.
Moon2_4March2001.jpg (31080 bytes) It really is amazing how battered the moon is.  When you consider that our Earth must have suffered a similar bombardment, and the only difference is that the oceans and atmosphere of our planet have eroded most signs of it away. In this shot of a different part of the moon you can see how the once liquid "sea" has hardened into ridges on the flat surface.
Thin_Moon_17Oct2001.jpg (62594 bytes) Before you can begin any night of astronomy you need to be sure that the moon is not anywhere around!  But sometimes we can have fun with the moon, especially when it is small, when the reflected "Earthshine" back into space lights up the dark part.  My father used to tell me that this was "the old moon in new moon's arms".  This is a very slim, 2% illuminated moon, captured at 0.01 second exposure through a blue filter
Moon_Setting_2_17Oct2001.jpg (105582 bytes) And then, when the rotation of the Earth carries our satellite down towards the horizon, in a nice, dark sky you get a very pretty moonset.  Here, the 2% moon is sliding gracefully behind the mountains on the horizon, leaving a piece sticking up in the air like a lamp standard on a used car lot in downtown Houston!  Well, hardly - but you know what I mean
Moon_Setting_2_18Oct2001.jpg (41923 bytes) And then, having rushed and scurried around the night before to get the pictures, because we were kind of "caught out" by the sudden appearance of the moon, we were able to get a better shot of the moonset, with the pine trees on the mountain top illuminated by the light of the setting moon.  Who said astronomy wasn't romantic!!
Moon_27Nov03_Web.jpg (24134 bytes) In this, the first picture of the moon we ever took with our Canon EOS 10D camera, you can see the 5 days old moon, taken at the full 300mm zoom of our Tamron telephoto lens.
Moon_and_Venus_190407_Web.jpg (24726 bytes) This picture, the new moon and bright Venus was taken at our Spanish observatory on the evening of 19th April, 2007.  You can just see the Pleiades (Messier 45) to the lower left of the moon and some stars of Taurus to the far left.  The lighted part of the moon is over-exposed to reveal the "Earthshine" - the illumination of the dark part of the moon by reflected Earthlight.  There is a larger image (0.8Mb) here
Moon_and_Venus_190607_Web.jpg (162774 bytes) The moon and Venus, taken in Spain on 18th June, 2007.  Earlier this day Venus had been occulted by the Moon, but the event was not visible from Spain, only further north.
moon_and_venus_web_261111.jpg (295311 bytes) The Moon and Venus in the evening sky, taken from our Spanish observatory on 26th November, 2011.  Full Resolution Image (2Mb)
Moon_Web_7Dec2003.jpg (51040 bytes) In this picture with the Canon EOS 10D the moon is almost full, but you can still see craters on the limb.  This image was taken by holding the camera close to our 35mm Teleview Panoptic eyepiece on the 16 inch scope.  Attempts to use the camera directly connected to the scope were thwarted because we couldn't get the focuser to rack far enough in to achieve focus.
Moon_Scarp_Skully.jpg (66218 bytes) The "Rupes Recta", a 110 Km long escarpment on the moon.  Taken by NHAC member Mark Skulborstad through his LX200, this is a shot of the dark shadow cast by this 300 meter high escarpment as the sun rises on that part of the moon.  The small craters to the right of the wall are Birt and Birt A, with Birt being the larger crater.  The triple crater to the left, from big to small is: Thebit, A, B and C at 57km, 20km and 10km in diameter.  The larger crater to the upper left is Arzachel at 97km
Saturn_30Sept2000.jpg (7013 bytes) Saturn - A nice look at the ringed planet, showing cloud structure on the planet and the Cassini division in the ring system
SATURN - Another attempt at a quality color image of the ringed planet. This image was composed by taking twenty images of 0.01 seconds each for each color and then screening the candidates. The best image from each set was then digitally developed in MaxIm using an FFT low pass filter and the three resulting images were combined.  A high pass filter completed the processing.
Saturn_and_Titan_28Dec2000.jpg (6114 bytes) Saturn and Titan - A color image of the ringed planet, showing its major satellite, Titan.  This image was taken in west Texas on 28th December, 2000 and is an RGB composite of 0.01second images.  Twenty images for each color were taken, and the very best of each selected for digital processing and subsequent combining
Pluto_100715_Web.jpg (210510 bytes) PLUTO, imaged on 10th July, 2015 from Spain, just before the New Horizons spacecraft flew by to take its images.  This is an RGB of 20 minutes per component.  Full Resolution Image.
Venus_26Dec2000001.jpg (2267 bytes) VENUS - often known as "Earth's Twin" because it is so close to us and so similar in size, Venus is in fact impossibly different from our planet.  It is always completely covered by thick, dense clouds of corrosive acidic gases and the surface is extremely hot - hot enough to melt lead.  In the sky Venus is a brilliant star in either the western or eastern sky, but in a telescope it is just a fuzzy white ball. In this image you can see the half phase which Venus showed in December 2000.
Venus_4March2001.jpg (4633 bytes) VENUS again, this time taken on March 2001, Venus was descending towards a point between Earth and the sun and the illuminated portion was rapidly decreasing.  In this image only 18% of the planet is illuminated. The image was so bright that it had to be taken through both an O3 filter and a blue filter to reduce the light intensity.
Mars_Angelich_2Aug2003.jpg (35250 bytes) MARS as it neared opposition in August 2003.  This image was taken by North Houston Astronomy Club member Terry Angelich using a Webcam and a 14 inch reflecting telescope.

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