Moon through Orion

Mark Stronge

  Comber, County Down, Northern Ireland
Photo Title
  Moon through Orion
Time and Date taken
  4/5th March 2004
Equipment used
  Orion ED80mm, vibration isolation pads
Capturing device used
  Minolta Dimage 7 coupled afocally to a 6.4mm Meade Plossl

I have just acquired a new telescope. It's an Orion ED 80mm Apochromatic f/7.5 600mm F.L. refractor. It is mounted on a Vixen GP german equatorial mount with dual axis motors driven by WinCTC which gives computer control with Periodic Error Correction and GOTO capability. There is also a dedicated Orion ED Yahoo group that discusses this marvel of a telescope. Mark Stronge

Click here for a slideshow of my custom built Orion and Vixen cases.

The image on the left shows the 10inch Meade LX200 and the Orion ED80mm setup side by side.

First light of the Orion ED 80mm was at the EAAS Beginner's night where I pointed the scope towards the sky for the first time and I was not disappointed. The apochromatic refractor showed it's class when the gibbous moon, Venus, and Saturn were all resolved magnificently with absolutely no colour fringing! Saturn's rings were easily visible and the Cassini division was resolved clearly the whole way round.

On 4th/5th March, I took the opportunity of the clear weather to test out the Orion and Vixen GP mount by capturing the almost full moon. Again, zero colour and excellent detail were the order of the evening.

The image below was taken on 5th March 00:45hrs UT using the Orion ED 80mm, Minolta Dimage 7 camera coupled afocally to a Scopetronix MaxView 40mm eyepiece. Exposure was f2.8, 1/1000 second shutter and ISO100. 12 images were taken and stacked in Registax. I probably could have used a higher f number to give a greater depth of field.

For the first time, I couple the D7 to a Meade 6.4mm eyepiece to give a greater magnification and this meant I could "surf the terminator" and look at the many wonderful craters which were on offer for optimal viewing.

Images of moon below were all using the D7 coupled to a 6.4mm eyepiece, with approximately 12 images each, stacked and processed in Registax.

To the left is the crater, Hevelius, named after Johan Hewelcke (or Hevel) who was a 17th century German Astronomer born in Dantzig, Germany in 1611. Hewel determined the rotation of the Sun by observation of spots in 1645 and also was the discoverer of the solar facules. He was the author of the first detailed map of the Moon in 1647.

Circular formation. Forms a remarkable couple with Cavalerius. Pretty steep slopes supporting Cavalerius to the North Lohrmann to the South and many craterlets to the East and to the West. Few high walls supporting Hevelius H F & B to the West and Hevelius C G & E to the North-East. Very large flat floor supporting Hevelius A to the North. Small central mountain. Contains Rimae Hevelius.

The crater to the right is named after Francesco Grimaldi, a 17 th century italian Astronomer and physicist born in Bologne, Italy in 1618. Grimaldi discovered luminous interferences and the diffraction of the light in 1650 and also authored a map of the Moon used by Riccioli in 1651.

Very dark circular formation resembling to a sea.
Steep slopes supporting many craterlets whose Grimaldi K L M N and P to the South Grimaldi D E and Q to the North-East and Rimae Grimaldi to the South-East. Few high walls ridden by Grimaldi B to the North.
Very large and flat floor filled somber lava. Small relief to the North-East. Craterlets and clear bands.


The crater to the left and in the photo, to the left of the high mountain is called Darwin. Named after Charles R. Darwin, a 19th century english Naturalist born in Shewsbury, England in 1809. Darwin went on a trip in South America with the 'Beagle' ship from 1831 to 1836. Author of 'About the origin of species by natural selection way' in 1859 and author of the theory of the transformist evolution of species called 'Darwinism'.

Wrecked circular formation. Pretty steep slopes supporting Darwin B to the West Crüger to the North-East and crushing Lamarck to the South. Few high walls ridden by 3 craters to the South-West. Tormented floor containing the Rimae Darwin. White stains. Hills and lines of crest. Craterlets. Dome with summit craterlet.


The crater to the right is named after Jean-Sylvain Bailly, an 18th century french Scientist and political man born in Paris, France in 1736. Member of the Academy of Sciences in 1763. Author of several histories of the astronomy. Mayor of Paris.

Circular formation little differentiated. The largest of crater shaped formations. Few steep slopes supporting many craters. High walls ridden by Bailly A to the South-East. Extensive and pretty flat floor to the South and tormented to the North. Spangled of craters and craterlets whose Bailly B to the South Bailly D & C to the North-West and Bailly F & I to the center. Hills.


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