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    astronomical snapshots by Joe Stieber



The Lunar X, 2021

This image of the moon was captured on May 18, 2021, from Maple Shade, NJ. It was taken at 8:12 pm EDT (the same time as sunset) with a Canon EOS RP mirrorless digital camera and a Tamron 150 to 600 mm, f/5 to 6.3 telephoto zoom lens (set to 600 mm focal length) on a fixed tripod. Here's the setup (taken with my iPhone). It was exposed 1/1000 second at f/8.0, ISO 4000, daylight white balance, then mildly adjusted in Canon's Digital Photo Professional 4 and cropped to about 30% of the original linear dimensions, providing a field 1.0 wide x 0.75 high. Mouseover for labels. Phil Harrington's predictions for 2018 to 2023 are tabulated here.



The Lunar X, 2018
Fully Illuminated

Here's a single frame snapshot of the gibbous moon taken at 10:46 pm EDT on May 24, 2018 (3 days after first quarter at 11:49 pm on May 21, 2018), with a Canon 7D Mk II digital SLR camera at the 910 mm prime focus of a Stellarvue 130 mm, f/7 apo refractor. It was exposed 1/1000 second at ISO 400, then converted to monochrome and cropped to about a third of the sensor's area yielding a field about 0.6 square. It wasn't a specific target when I took the picture, but when I examined it closely, I noticed the Lunar X was visible, although not nearly as prominent as when it appears as a highlight at the terminator. Mouseover for a label.


Here's an crop of the image above to better show the "X" (mouseover for a label). Unfortunately, I do not have ready access to the original image for a better cropped view, as opposed to this cropping of an already-cropped and resized image.



The Lunar X Challenge
APOD, 16-January-2023

Here's a detailed image of the Moon from the Astronomy Picture of the Day for January 16, 2023. Can you spot the Lunar X? It's not too far from Rupes Recta (the Straight Wall). It's visible on this reduced-size version (mouseover for label), and here's a full-resolution version.




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