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Old Feb 6 2010, 06:02 PM   #7
Master Sneak
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Scotland
Gender: M
Fan of: Skies of Pern: what else?
Now Reading: My computer screen
Default Re: My first moon picture...

That's right. A half moon will look more dramatic than a full moon because the low lighting will lengthen the shadows from hills and craters and give a more dramatic edge. But it's all a question of taste - the full moon gives you a nice soft image of the maria and the half moon gives you dramatic mountains and craters.

There is a Heath-Robinson way of tracking your camera on the sky without using a telescope: You take two flat pieces of wood and join them together with a hinge, so they can open together like a book. Then you arrange for the open ends to be joined together by a large screw thread. The general idea is to arrange for the wooden "book" to open and close slowly when you turn a nut attached to the screw thread. The ideal solution would be a screw thread with a handle on the end, but you could use a wing nut. Then you attach one face of this wooden "book" to a fixed object (e.g. a tripod) so that the hinge is pointing towards the north pole (line it up with polaris). You attach your camera to the other face and arrange for it to point at the object you want to photograph (while keeping the hinges pointed at the pole). Then when you open the shutter of the camera you slowly and steadily turn the screw thread so that the camera tracks the sky. How fast you need to turn the screw thread is a matter of trial and error. An alternative solution would be to make a worm gear driven drive out of meccano.

That used to be a good alternative to using a motor driven telescope, although nowadays motor drives are sufficiently cheap that building such a device is hardly worth it.
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