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13 December 2011

Lunar 3 - Image Stacking

I must say the Moon really is becoming one of my favorite objects to photograph and I think this is my best one yet!

OTA: 120mm Achromatic Refractor
Camera: Nikon D3100 14.2mp
Mount: CG-4 mount
Exposures: 12
Exposure: 1/100sec
ISO: 100

This one however is different from my previous efforts because it's actually twelve separate images stacked together.

This magical process can be done in a delightful freeware image processing program called Registax. "Oh, that sounds interesting" you might say, but no. This is the single most frustrating program I've used since Adobe Illustrator! I'll spare the rant but you do need a liberal amount of patients to learn how to get good results from this program. However, like Illustrator, with countless hours and the help from online tutorials I finally managed to render out this image of our beautiful and full moon.

It just so happened that there was a Lunar eclipse that day, which I unfortunately missed due to weather. I was all ready to make an animation of the event and everything.


  1. Just out of interest was it 12 separate stills or 12 frames from an AVI? I have the same scope and a 10D, must say I haven't managed anything as crisp as that!

  2. Hey Bike Pig. Sorry for the delay. Yes, it's 12 separate stills. If memory serves, I actually had to roughly crop and align them in Photoshop to stop Registax freaking out during stacking. I also sharpened it slightly in Photoshop afterwards.

    I think what really helped was spending the time getting the telescope focused perfectly. The Omni 120 is an awesome telescope but the standard focuser is pretty sloppy, so a bit of patience is needed.