Saturday, April 21, 2007

Hong Kong and the Moon

There are serious amateur astronomers, and then there are serious amateur astronomers. Alan Chu is apparently one of the latter. Based in Hong Kong (which I don't imagine ever has the best seeing or sky transparency in the world), he has some great images of Mars on his "workshop" web page. But his masterpiece is a free 225-page PDF called Photographic Moon Book (version 3.1). The book is a detailed photographic "tour" of the Moon, with over 250 original Moon images (extensively labeled), excellent diagrams and explanations, and detailed notes on observation and imaging techniques. This is clearly a labor of love, and also a work of great beauty and quality.

It is also a huge download - 100 MB! I learned about it in an email newsletter from NSS, which references this U.S. mirror site, which has given a "403 Forbidden" error all day today, perhaps due to traffic. So I went directly to Alan Chu's own Hong Kong-based web page, and the download took about 3 hours!

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