Lunar image - before and after sharpening with RegiStax
I've been doing some planetary imaging of late, using a borrowed 8" Celestron. While I was doing that, I also took the opportunity to take a photo of the moon. I was interested in getting an image of Copernicus.
Finding the Moon is relatively easy, especially when it's nearly full. Because the scope I was using had an 8" aperture, it was uncomfortably bright, so I attached a Moon filter on my eyepiece.
Once I had the Moon in view and the mount tracking, I swapped the eyepiece for my camera, a QHY5-III 178M. I captured 1000 frames, saving them onto my computer as a normal movie format.
Back inside, I winnowed this down to 250 frames using PIPP. Then I used AutoStakkert3 to select the best 125 frames and make a high-quality image from these. I've attached the image here, cropped a bit.
Copernicus is the large crater. You can make out the central peaks as bright spots in the middle of the crater. Off to the left at the top of the photo is the large crater Reinhold.
I'm relatively happy with this photo, but it' s not as good as it could be. It's soft, and needs sharpening. In the uncompressed file on my computer there are details hidden in the blur.
You can tease them out using a free program called RegiStax.
Using the wavelet sharpening in RegiStax, I made the second version of the photo. I won't go into detail about how to do this (it's mostly trial and error), but the difference is astounding. Compare the second photo to the first.
I'm certainly happier with the second. Notice the unnamed crater near Reinhold. There's a small crater inside it. You can see it in the sharpened photo but not the unsharpened one. Clearly the information was there in the original (uncompressed) image, but it wasn't visible to the eye.