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Our closest companion in space, the moon, is the easiest astronomical object to observe or image. Any digital camera with a reasonable zoom can give good results.

The moon, a day before full. At this stage very little crater detail is visible, except at top right (the image is inverted), but the 'rays' of ejected material from some of the huge impacts are particularly clear. Right click and 'view image' to see more detail.

A sharp picture of the full moon

The full moon, imaged through a 6-inch telescope


The above photo is a stack of 21 photographs taken using a 6" telescope. PIPP was used to pre-process the image, which was stacked in Autostakkert!2, tweaked in Corel Paint (any basic imaging programme would do, many use GIMP), and sharpened in Astra Image.

Naturally a telescope does let you get more small detail, though. The curving groove near the bottom centre of this pictuire is Hadley Rille - those of my generation will recognise the name as the landing site of the Apollo 15 ilunar mission. The landing site is about 1/4 of the way up and just right of centre. Stacked from about a minute of webcam video, captured with Sharpcap and -sharpened with Registax.

The Apollo 15 landing site, Mons Hadley and Hadley Rille

The Apollo 15 landing site near Hadley Rille