Friday, March 09, 2012

Mosaic of the Moon

Hey there, friend. Come over here. You want to see a truly amazing image of the moon? With a resolution so impressive that you will think you are in lunar orbit. Well have I got a photo for you. Honest! This may sound like a cheesy sales pitch from a guy wearing a trench coat and standing in a dark alley, but I’m very serious.
         
Netherlander photographer André van der Hoeven began experimenting with astrophotography in April of 2010 and has had some wonderful success so far. His latest creation is a photo mosaic of a gibbous moon that is 3890 x 4650 pixels in size—that’s a 18 megapixel image, in case you were wondering. Using a Celestron C11 (11”) Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, Van der Hoeven imaged the moon in pieces, taking 30 seconds of video for each portion. The video captured at a rate of 60 frames per second, so a total of 1,800 frames were captured for each area exposed. Van der Hoeven then used software to pick the best of those frames, and then used more software to sharpen the selected image. He repeated this process 107 times until he had imaged the entire visible surface, and then seamlessly joined the images. The result is a lunar mosaic that is like none other to date. Incidentally, I would have teased you with a low-resolution version of the image here, but the image is rightfully the property of Mr. Van der Hoeven and I did not request his permission to display it (There are rules about this sort of thing).
    
To see Van der Hoeven’s photo-blog page on the mosaic, click here:
http://www.astro-photo.nl/photoblog/index.php?showimage=170
      
…and to see the actual mosaic, in all of its lunar glory, click here:
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7057/6817466372_e3ed4aa781_o.jpg
          
Please be patient, as the image will take a minute to load. I promise you that your patience will be rewarded.
    
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