Gibbous Moon

Duncan Waldron

Camira, Australia

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Artist's Description

This was shot with a 6-inch Cooke telescope (photovisual triplet lens) on Tech Pan film, processed to get good contrast. The challenge was then to print it, without losing too much in highlight or shadow.

In this image can be seen the prominent craters Plato (dark floor, near the top), Copernicus (near edge at upper left) and Tycho (lower left). Tycho is notable for the system of bright rays radiating from it, which extend almost halfway round the moon.

The southern highlands are heavily cratered, while the dark lunar ‘seas’ are predominantly in the northern part of the moon. The seas are in reality waterless, and are likely to be ancient lava flows that have filled lower-lying areas of the surface.
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The Cooke telescope has a 6-inch aperture triplet objective, with a long focal length of 108 inches (2,700mm), giving f/18. It is therefore slightly too long a focal length to record the whole disk of a full moon on a 35mm frame. The article H. Dennis Taylor, Optical Designer for T. Cooke & Sons gives a description of this very fine, but fatally flawed optical design.

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Image Copyright Duncan Waldron © 2008
This image may not be reproduced without permission
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