The First Lunar Scouts

In 1903 Orville and Wilbur Wright made their first powered flights at Kitty Hawk. Astonishingly, it was only 66 years later that Neil Armstrong and Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin stepped from their space-going vehicle onto the Moon's alien surface. The pace of progress at that time was breath-taking. Indeed, it was only in 1957, a mere dozen years earlier, that Sputnik 1, the Earth's first man-made satellite, was launched into orbit, marking the true beginning of the 'Space Age'. The many elements of...

The Moon In Focus

Even a casual glance made without any form of optical aid reveals that the Moon is not a blank, shining disk. Aside from the phases, the Moon's silvery orb clearly shows patchy dark markings. These give rise to the Man in the Moon (and the variety of animals and maidens which feature in other folk lores) effect which is so obvious around the time of the full Moon. Figures 2.1-2.5 show the general appearance of the Moon at successive stages in its lunation, as it is seen through a normal...

Lunar Photography Through The Telescope At The Principal Focus

Some people mean 'principal focus' when they incorrectly say 'prime focus'. I am willing to wager that amateur reflecting telescopes with no secondary mirror and equipment mounted at the true prime focus position are extremely rare. In most cases the 'principal focus' will be the Newtonian focus, though the first focal plane of the refractor, the Cassegrain reflector, or the catadioptric telescope also counts. The photographic emulsion is positioned at the principal focus in each case with no...

Processing The Film And Techniques To Bring Out Detail In Printing

Doing the processing printing yourself is advantageous in that you can control all that goes on. Tailoring what you do to the subject matter in hand will potentially give the best results. On the downside, photographic darkroom work is a hobby all on its own. Setting up a darkroom is expensive, and can be problematical in many homes. Some practice will be required to master the basics, let alone the more advanced techniques. I was lucky in that I began photography as a hobby, along with the...

The Pioneering Selenographers

As the seventeenth century progressed so refracting telescope object glasses were made which were a little larger than the first, tiny, examples. However, these lenses were single pieces of glass and so suffered badly from chromatic aberration. The remedy for this aberration (and to an extent the other aberrations that arose mainly from the crudeness of the methods of lens manufacture) was to make the lens of larger focal ratio (and hence greater focal length). To reduce the aberrations to a...

Telescopes a nd d rawing boards

Why bother to observe the Moon at all, let alone go to the trouble of drawing it Well, the answer to that is likely to be different for different people. I tried to give you the essence of my personal obsession in the introduction to Chapter 1. Given the fact that you are reading this book, I take it that you have some interest in astronomy in general and, maybe, in the Moon in particular. That at least justifies observing the Moon through a telescope. What about drawing the lunar surface,...

The Lunar Sourcebook

Yes, I have mentioned this earlier but it deserves my highest recommendation. If you want a large (over 700 page) single-volume guide to the science of the Moon then you can do no better than to invest in a copy of the Lunar Sourcebook - a User's Guide to the Moon. It is edited by G. Heiken, D. Vaniman and B. French and was published by Cambridge University Press in 1991. It is chock-full of data, information and explanations about the physics, chemistry, and geology of the Moon and how that...

Drawing The Moon

Given the telescope, the basic equipment consists of some sort of clipboard with a source of attached illumination. A small piece of hardboard, or a large dinner mat, a switch, a torch bulb and holder, a small square cardboard or metal box (to mount the bulb in its holder at the head of the board), a switch, some wire, a battery (perhaps mounted on the board by means of a Terry-clip) and terminal connections (or soldered joints), or alternative materials, can easily be fashioned into something...

Ccd Astrocameras In Practice

Figure 5.1 a shows the camera head of the StarlightXpress SXL8 unit. Notice the cooling fins projecting from the back of it. The major part of the mass of the camera head about 1 kilogram is associated with the cooling unit. The small grey square that lies within the head is the actual CCD. It is the Philips FT12, referred to earlier. Figure 5.1 b shows the rest of the Starlight Xpress SX system. It is fairly typical of commercial units. The plug at the end of the ribbon cable is for attaching...