The Moon: So Far and Yet So Near

The Moon: So Far and Yet So Near

March 7th, 2017, 6:00 p.m. local time

I made a little discovery a few days ago, documented here, that I can capture the Moon’s surface details with nothing but my smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy S7.  Tonight, with the sky clear, still blue, but on the verge of dusk, I took a few more pictures of the Moon (and my, has it grown since its run-in over the weekend with Aldebaran!).

The above picture was taken as a straight “Auto” mode image. Obviously, it captures the still-blue sky and and the overexposed Moon, but at least you can see its shape.

Below, I switched my phone to “Pro” mode with the captioned settings:

Pro Mode from Samsung Galaxy S7 (no telescope) with ISO 200 and 1/3000 exposure

Holy cow!  That’d be them there Moon we be seein’!

I am amazed how much detail was captured.  This started me thinking…what if I tried photographing the Moon in the same way I do the planets?  With the planets, I use my phone to take videos, and then post-process those videos in PIPP, AutoStakkert, and Registax to create composite images.  If I, say, mounted my phone on a tripod, pointed it at the Moon with no optical aid (i.e. telescope), and started video taping, what type of results would I end up with?

That may seem silly, since you can of course get superior images of the Moon with even the smallest of telescopes and a basic camera.  But I would do this…in the name of astrophotography science.  I am really curious what the final product would be!

I am not sure when or if I will have a chance do do this, but I will keep it on the back burner, as they say, until the time is right.



I write frequently about astrophotography, technology advice, and my other interests like science fiction. I have over 30 years of experience in computer programming, information technology, and project management.

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