Waxing Crescent Moon with earthshine and stars

The four day old waxing Crescent Moon from Austin, Texas. I had to set up out in the street for this shot, but traffic on our road is light as our neighborhood shelters at home from the pandemic. Taken 2020-05-27 02:26 UT with a William Optics RedCat 250/51mm telescope with a Sony a6300 camera at prime focus.

HDR composite exposed 1/100 sec at ISO 100 for the lunar crescent and 1/5 se at ISO 10000 for earthshine, tree, and stars. Moon a lucky image 1.5x dithered stack of the best 10 of 100 exposures. Earthshine 25 images stacked and with a burst of 5 of them separately stacked for the oak tree. Final HDR stack, exposure adjustment, and crop in Photoshop.

The final result is a close rendering of what I saw through my oak tree taking the trash to the curb last night. We are nowhere close to the camera technology needed to capture a scene like this in one shot. I'm frustrated by our inability to capture so many beautiful things we see with our eyes in the sky or at a telescope eyepiece. I don't expect 100X better camera technology in my lifetime. Over time I've put together a suite of techniques using multiple exposures, region specific processing, and stacking that captures a good rendering of what I see with my eyes. The 125 images used in this composite included objects moving at three different speeds: ground, moon, and stars. The images were captured at two different exposure settings and processed in post for a third. The final image re-composites the parts of the picture processed with seven different work flows. It takes a lot from DSO processing work flows by using image region specific processing and blending the results for the final image.

Content created: 2020-05-27

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