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This article describes an attempt to obtain a high contrast image of the moon by exploiting lunar phases. One of the most obvious features of an image of the moon in any partial phase is that the contrast is greatest at the terminator, the region of twilight between the sunlit portion of the moon's surface and the dark portion. This terminator region thus yields the greatest degree of detail of the nature of the lunar surface. During a lunar month, the terminator scans across the whole of the moon's visible surface, successively highlighting the detail in a series of crescent-shaped terminator regions. Photographing the moon nightly throughout an entire lunar month, 29 -30 images can be produced which can then be combined to generate the desired high contrast image of the full moon showing detail which would not otherwise be visible in a normal full-moon photograph.
Carrying out this project in southern Scotland where a large proportion of the nights are overcast, means that it will be expected that many lunar cycles will be needed to accumulate the required 29 images. A further complication arises from the location's latitude. In the Summer, the nights are very short and to be useful, the moon needs to be at a useful elevation during the hours of darkness. This puts a further constraint on the number of useful nights for observation and photography.
For convenience the phases of the moon are identified by integers for each day of the lunar month, starting with the Full Moon (=1). The following table shows the possible days upon which certain phases will be observable weather permitting.