My Moon Information and Pictures


Back to my Astronomy page

This page has my photos of the moon,

Maps for identification of features

Information about rotation of the moon etc

Information about photography


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  My photographs Photography Rotation of the moon and calendars Moon maps  

My photographs. These were usually taken with no tripod. Manual, approx: ISO 100, Aperture F10, 1/100 sec. In photoshop I applied haze removal and sometimes auto shake removal. Sometimes Adjust lighting. highlights etc. Each new set may have had different photoshop modifications. The features of the moon - craters, seas etc can be identified using the moon maps. Note: The maps have North at the top but he photos will vary in orientation: when I refer to East or West in describing moon features on my photos then I am caling North the top of MY photo - not NORTH as it is positioned in maps.

Moon maps..........
  January 17th. Full moon. January 19th
Moon maps..........

  January 19th. North East. The large dark sea is Mare Crisium. Below it is Mare Fecunditatis with the crater Langrenus. Lowest crater is Petavius
  January 19th. East. The central Mare is Mare Nectaris. Middle crater is Petavius
Moon maps..........
  February 10th. Waxing. The very well-defined crater on LHS is Copernicus  
  Februay 10th. Waxing. North West. Photoshopped - haze removal and auto shake removal.
The large Mare Ibrium is on the left, separated from the Mare Serenitatis by Montes Caucusus. At the top is the Plato crater with Montes Teneriffe on left and Montes Alpes on right. In the middle is the Archimedes crater with the mountain chain Montes Appenninus below it, starting at crater Eratosthenes. The lowest crater is Copernicus.
Moon maps..........
  Februay 10th. Waxing. South West. The well-defined crater on the West of Mare Nubium is Bullialdus. On the south of the Mare is Pitatus. South of that is clear Tycho with its central 'spike'. South of that is Clavious with small craters in its centre.
  February 14th Waxing moon. Tycho is the crater with the radiating streaks February 16th Full moon. Slightly hazy. Photoshopped Haze removal and autosharpen
  February 18th Waning moon. A bit hazy. Photoshop haze removal and increase contrast  

March 6th (18.30) Waxing moon.                                                                                                                           Undrexposed 0.7. In photoshop only darkened highlight.
The well-defined Mare is Mare Crisium with Mare Fecunditatis to its South West. The Langrenus crater is the bright crater in this Mare

  March 13th. 18.15. Clear sky. High in sky. Tripod. The distinct feature on left is the edge of Sinus Iridum (Bay of rainbows) North of Mare Imbrium (sea of showers). . The rays from Copernicus and Tycho craters are clear.
  The dark crater is Plato, The crater to right of Sinus iridum, in Mare Imbrium is Archimedes; South of this is small Timocharis crater; South East of that is the Eratosthenes crater between the mountain ranges Carpatus and Appenius. The bright crater with rays in the Mare insularum is Copernicus and below that is Rheinhold crater.  









The top left crater is Rheinhold and below that is the Lansberg crater. The large crater below is the Grassendi crater on the edge of Mare Humorum. North East of that is the Bullaldus crater in Mare Nubium. East South East is the bright Tycho crater, NW of which is Pitatus. The landing sites of Appollo 12 and 14 were East of the Lansberg crater .
To the West and South of Tycho are Wilhelm, Longmontanus and Clavius


March 14th 19.00 clear sky. Waxing moon. New Plan. To make is easier to compare my photos with maps with true North; Make a copy of the basic photo. Edit with photoshop. Then rotate the original photo so that true North as at the top (about 40 degrees clockwise). Use this version to make amplified phots for comparison with moon maps.

  The moon as photographed. Rotated to put true North at the top
  For comparison with moon map  
  South East. Showing Gassendi crater North of Mare Humorum and craters Bullialdus to its East. The oval crater South of this is Hainzel and the long thin crater is Schiller. The bright rayed crater on the East is Tycho (not on map)
  March 18th Full moon. Clear sky. 22.00. Cut down to F16 as it was very bright.
TOP March 18th Full moon. After rotation for comparison with map
.................. May 11th 2022 Waxing.  
  May 11th 2022 Waxing. 10.30 pm.  

  North West Central Soth West

Moon Maps. These are all taken from Collins Stars and planets (5th Edition, 2017) by Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion or from Collins Moongazing (Tom Kerss), available From Amazon
The best map by a long way is the large Celestron Observer's map of the Moon. The craters look most like what i see and photograph. It is too big for convenient use while observing. For that I have used the Collins maps (below), scanned, printed and put in 'dewproof' see-through files.
Note: The maps have North at the top but he photos will vary, depending on the position of the moon in the sky.
Go back to photos    
TOP      Go back to photos  


How to Photograph the Moon: The Best Camera Settings For Photographing The Moon - taken from 'Lightstalking'
In summary Set to Manual. Use longest lens. Set ISO to 100. Use F11 or F16. Shutter 1/60 or 1/125. Focus perhaps manually. Use tripod and timer. I often get good picture hand held.    
No preset or auto function of your camera will be able to properly meter the moon, so ideally you should consider shooting in full manual mode. At the very least, choose Aperture Priority mode.
General Settings

  • Always shoot raw so you can get as many details from the moon and make adjustments to white balance when post processing. I have not done this but results ok.
  • It is good to use manual focusing instead of autofocus. Zoom in one live view and focus to get sharp focus. I have used autofocus OK.
  • Turn off image stabilization when the camera is on a tripod.
  • If using a DSLR camera, make use of the mirror lock-up feature to avoid camera shake due to mirror slap. I have not done this.

Digital cameras should be set to 100 or lower, film shooters should shoot film of 100 ISO or slower to eliminate noise and grain. Some cameras will have the lowest setting of ISO 200. If you are using a very long telephoto lens, you will need to make the shutter speed faster comparatively to avoid capturing the movement of the moon across the sky. In that case, or if the sky conditions are not too good, you may have to slightly increase the iso.
Because you're after crisp, clean shots, shooting at f/11 to f/16, depending on your lens, will be the best place to start. Research your lens' sweet spot to find the sharpest aperture. Using narrow aperture values will require increasing the iso during the waning and waxing phases of the moon, especially when the moon is less than a quarter. When conditions are bad, you can open up the aperture to about f/8 or f/5.6 but make sure that the images are acceptably sharp.
Shutter speed
The variables are many and include those mentioned earlier, such as the phase the moon is in, geographical location and desired shot, but on a clear night starting at about 1/60th to 1/125th should be a great starting point. Depending on the brightness and focal length as well, you will need to make adjustments to shutter speeds.
Attention: Grab your free cheat sheet for Moon photography! Click Here
What Is The Looney 11 Rule?
There is a “rule of thumb” that is easy to memorize and should get you close to a good exposure of the face of the moon – the “looney 11 rule.” This rule is a method of estimating correct exposures without a light meter. For daylight photography, there is a similar rule called the sunny 16 rule.
The looney 11 rule is a very simple guideline intended to give the photographer a baseline to start from when shooting the moon at night.
The Rule: For astronomical photos of the Moon's surface, set aperture to f/11 and shutter speed to the reciprocal of the ISO setting.
For example: f/11 at ISO 100 and 1/100th second shutter speed.
Another example: f/11 at ISO 200 and 1/200 second shutter speed.

My Photoshopping
I always start 'Enhancing' with Haze removal. Rarely autosharpen. Adjust lighting; sometimes just levels, sometimes highlights or contrast.


Rotation of the moon and calendars

From Explore physics website
The moon orbits the Earth once every 27.322 days. It also takes about the same time to rotate once on its axis*. So it appears to be keeping almost perfectly still. This is called synchronous rotation.

The moon's orbit takes about 27 days to go full circle (360 degrees). So it moves 12–13 degrees east every day, explaining why moonrise is about 50 minutes later each day.

Although the its orbit takes about 27 days the monthly cycle of the Moon's phases (eg from full moon to full moon) is 29.5 days. This is because as it moves around the Earth the Earth also moves around the Sun. The Moon must therefore travel a little farther in its path to make up for the added distance and complete its phase cycle.

A lunar calendar is based on the monthly cycles of the Moon's phases (29.5 days – a ‘lunation’). Solar calendars are based on the solar year - the time taken to go once around the sun. Our ‘Gregorian’calendar is a lunisolar calendar, whose lunar months are brought into alignment with the solar year by adding a bit to each lunar month so that we have 12 months in a year. 

*A note for observers: The orbit and the rotation aren't perfectly matched. The moon travels around the Earth in an elliptical orbit. When it is closest, its rotation is slower than its journey through space, allowing observers to see an additional 8 degrees on the eastern side. When the moon is farthest, the rotation is faster, so an additional 8 degrees are visible on the western side.