Exodoxus, Aristoteles, Alpine Valley and Notes on Tone Mapping with the Orion 10" f/3.9 Newtonian Astrograph June 13, 2016 Uploaded 7/16/16 Note: Conventional usage of South is up in all images, more info below. Photo KEY:
This is one of the very best images from the evening, when the seeing was at its peak. Fine sub arc second sized details can be seen across the entire frame. Select size for enlarged view: 1400 x 1200
Here are some selected details Select size for enlarged view: 1400 x 1200
 Here are a few examples of "Tone Mapping" on the lunar full disk taken on the 16th a few days later from the above image. On the left is a normal image, with the gamma set for the nominal 100, and the histogram stretched from full black to full white for all data. On the right the same image has been contrast stretched in the normal fashion in an attempt to show more detail in the dark Mare, and hopefully ray and fine crater features. Its a mess! You cant achieve the essential details without severely white clipping the data.

Next we tone map the data with Image J. The result is at left here. This does

exactly what we want to do - reveal the crater rays, fine maria shadings and retain all levels of original data without loosing it through white or black clipping. This image has not been sharpened.

 Comparing the two images at a larger scale reveals the enormous increase in detail visible after tone mapping. Sure - you can shoot an image like the one on the left any time, and get a shot that is just like any other moon shot taken over the last hundred years. OR you can apply the advanced tone mapping algorithms available today and see ten times the features and detail in the same image data. The choice is yours!
Here is the original conventionally stretched image with its histogram. You can see we are displaying all the data from black to white and yet the image is the "normal" flat low contrast lunar disk.
Now after applying Tone Mapping with Image J to our original data, the histogram is stretched again to keep all data within the bounds of total black (0) to Pure white (255) for this 8 bit image. Yet look how magnificently we render the lunar details.
To see the final image at full screen, select the enlarged image size below: 1600 x 1290 This is a 2 part panorama with the 10 inch at prime focus. Conclusions. You can see the huge potential for getting the best detail from your lunar shots is now possible, and applying it to the Barlow high magnification images shows a similar enhancement bringing to light elusive hardly there features that have challenged imagers in the past!
Processing: 25/1200 best frames, alignment in Autostakkert, USM, Levels and Contrast Masking In Photoshop CS2 and Image J.
Instrument: Orion (GSO) 10" f/3.9 with 5x Powermate Platform: Astrophysics AP1200 CCD Camera: Image Source DMK 51 w/Televue 5x Powermate Filter: Orion IR Pass Exposure: 1/30 sec 12fps Location: Payson, Arizona Elevation: 5150 ft. Sky: Seeing 4/5, Transparency 7/10 Outside Temperature: 55F