Tonight, April 20th, the evening was cloudless and “seeing” was quite good, meaning there was little moisture in the atmosphere. I began by using my Imaging Source 41 camera and my 6″ Celestron OTA to capture two avi files of over 2000 images. If you followed my last blog on Saturn, Registax software is able to stack, align, and select a great image. Below are two images of the moon at 76% waxing gibbous illumination.
The first is of mid to southern region. Mare Imbrium is top center. It is south of the great Crater Copernicus. While it is a lunar “sea”, it is itself one of the largest craters in the solar system. Don’t be confused by the crater within the Mare, with its two small craters next to it and what appears to be spectacles (which are recent craters as well) below those craters. Mare Imbrium is huge, and you can only see about 70% of it. Estimates of the Imbrium Crater’s age range from 3 to 4 ½ billion years.
In this next photo, Mare Crisium appears to the upper right. Mare Tranquillitatis is in the center, and Mare Serenitatis is in upper left. A notable crater is Crater Proclus, just below Mare Crisium. Proclus is a young lunar impact crater. The crater has a notable ray system that extends for a distance of over 600 kilometers.
I have always been fascinated with the Sombrero Galaxy, also known as M104 and NGC 4594.
It has a bright nucleus, an unusually large central bulge, and a prominent dust lane in its inclined disk. The dark dust lane and the bulge give this galaxy the appearance of a sombrero. The Sombrero is an unbarred spiral galaxy in the constellation Virgo, located 28 million light years from earth. The large bulge, the central supermassive black hole, and the dust lane all attract the attention of professional astronomers.
While I am not a professional astronomer, I took 30 sixty second images with my Starlight Xpress M25C camera and Hyperstar lens to get this image:
CLICK ON ALL IMAGES FOR A LARGER VIEW.