Ray from Montes Riphaeus Home

Move your mouse over the picture to identify the feature.

At sunrise and sunset on the Moon in some places the Sun shines through gaps in mountain chains or the walls of craters, producing what is know as a ray.  This is an interesting phenomenon to observe although not of any great scientific interest.  One of these gaps occurs in the Riphaeus Mountains, which divide Mare Nubium from Oceanus Procellarum.  Many of these phenomena are predicted by The Robinson Lunar Observatory thanks to whom I was able to catch this ray in Montes Riphaeus.
The left image was captured soon after the ray appeared and is intentionally over-exposed in order to bring out the ray.  The right-hand image was taken 50 minutes later and is more correctly exposed to image the mountains; the ray had brightened enough in this time to show faintly.
The pictures were taken with a ToUcam attached to my LX200 on 18th April 2005 at 22:58 and 23:48 UT, when the Moon was 9.5 days old.

Click here to see a brighter picture (for dark monitors).

To see an animation of six pictures taken at ten-minute intervals click here (184K).

Date and Time 18th April 2005 at 22:58 and 22:48 UT
Camera ToUcam 740K
Telescope LX200 at prime focus
Capture K3CCDTools. High gamma, 1/33", 18% gain, 303 frames
High gamma, 1/100", 32% gain, 302 frames.
Processing Registax. 146 frames stacked. Wavelets 1-3 = 10. Contrast 70.
115 frames stacked. Wavelets 1-3 = 10.
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