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The Eight Day Old Moon | by Amazing Sky Photography
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The Eight Day Old Moon

A panorama of the 8-day-old first quarter Moon on March 14, 2019, showing the full disk and extent of incredible detail along the terminator, the dividing line between the day and night sides of the Moon where the Sun is rising as seen from the surface of the Moon.


At bottom in the south, the large crater Clavius and above it Tycho in the Southern Highlands are ideally placed in the dawn sunlight. Above them is the dark slash of the Straight Wall in Mare Nubium. Above centre is the crater Eratosthenes with most of its deep interior still in darkness. At top the large crater Plato is perfectly lit as well with shadows stretching across its flat floor.


I have boosted the colour saturation and contrast somewhat to bring out the colour difference between the grey Sea of Serenity above center and the bluish Sea of Tranquillity right of centre.


This is a panorama or mosaic of three images, for the southern, middle, and northern portions of the Moon, taken through a Celestron C9.25-inch SCT telescope but also with a Canon 1.4x telextender to increase the effective focal lengh even more to 3300mm at f/14. Each segment is a single exposure at ISO 100 of 1/40 second with the Sony a7III. Stitching was with Adobe Camera Raw using Perspective projection. So this is not an example of using a planetary camera to shoot hundreds of frames to stack and blend only the sharpest but rather an example of what can be done with simpler DSLR/Mirrorless camera techniques. The result does suffer from atmospheric blurring which varies across the disk, so this can’t compete with the images from skilled lunar photographers using specialized cameras, but it’s not bad!


Also, shooting this phase of the Moon in March or April helps ensure sharper images as the evening Moon sits highest in the sky at this time of year for the northern hemisphere. However, I did apply unsharp and high-pass sharpening to snap up the detail. I was shooting through some high thin cloud this night.

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Taken on March 14, 2019