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Almost 3D

Submitter: Rik ter Horst
Description: This spectacular "3D" image of the lunar surface was taken during rather good conditions in the early morning of August 27th. It is close to the terminator, so the low Sun casts impressive shadows that beautifully emphasize the rugged terrain. It makes one think of the ancient Greeks, who already suspected that the features they could see on the Moon were mountains, but could not be sure.

The telescope was a home-made 250 mm F/15 Schmidt-Cassegrain. An ASI120MM monochrome camera (CMOS) was used to capture 3000 short-exposure (10ms) images. The 50% best ones were "stacked" with the program Autostakkert!2. This means that the selected exposures were added together after correcting them for small position shifts caused by the Earth atmosphere. Some further processing (wavelet sharpening) was done with Photoshop.

The availability of (free!) Lucky-Imaging software made it possible to achieve diffraction-limited performance without the need for expensive Adaptive Optics (AO) systems. Moreover, this was done at sea-level(!), from a location in the northern Netherlands. The smallest detail that is visible in this image is about 800m.
Copyright: Rik ter Horst
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