The solar systems planets and its moons present a very different challenge in astrophotography, they are actually too bright! This however, means that you can image the planets and moon in a single night, weather permitting. The difficulty lies in acquiring the data for the image, as the Earths atmosphere blurs what the camera sees during high magnification.

It is possible to work around this via a technique called “lucky imaging” (also called lucky exposures) is one form of speckle imaging used for astronomical photography. Speckle imaging techniques use a high-speed camera with exposure times short enough (100 ms or less) so that the changes in the Earth’s atmosphere during the exposure are minimal.

With lucky imaging, those optimum exposures least affected by the atmosphere (typically around 10%) are chosen and combined into a single image by shifting and adding the short exposures, yielding much higher angular resolution than would be possible with a single, longer exposure which includes all the frames.

Some of the moon images shown here are composited from 16 different slides, taken from 16 different closeup videos – to remove the view through the earths atmosphere. When the moon is at its fullest, it also becomes very difficult to get rich details, as the bright light “washes” out the finer details.



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