What's in a stacking? My last attempt at photographing Saturn was posted on an FB group and one of the members quickly pointed out that me shooting at a high ISO shouldn't necessarily give that bad of an image. After experimenting with a few different stackings, I got some interesting results.100 frames In my previous attempt (pictured above), I stacked only 100 frames of ...

Saturn - a few days after the opposition The Saturn opposition took place on 3rd June 2016 and was incidentally having a close approach with Earth. Tried my luck a few days after and it didn't turn up too bad.Saturn - 6th June 2016. 4SE and Canon 550D with 2x Barlow (Samyang). A stack of 150 frames on 640x480 crop mode.An opposition does not always mean that the ...

Mars - few days after the closest approach On 30th May 2016, Mars had a close approach to Earth (being only 46.8million miles from Earth). The photo below was taken few days after.Mars - 04th June 2016. Nexstar 4SE, Canon 550D with 2x barlow (Samyang mirror lens accessory)The photo is a result of stacking 25 frames of a avi made in 640x480 60fps movie crop mode. Since the ...

Back again It seems like my last post was more than 11 months ago. Due to my job change and severe weather in Sri Lanka (more specifically Colombo), I have not been able to get in to astrophotography much. I had dropped my expectations a bit when we started getting freak showers last week (again) but then I noticed that towards the ...

C/2014 Q2 - Comet Lovejoy 2014 - Part 1 The year 2015 kicked off with a new comet incoming. Comet C/2014 Q2 is still on its approach towards the sun and is expected to be closest to the sun on 30th Jan. Right now it is just inside the constellation Eridanus Just below Orion.Cutting the mumbo-jumbo out:The details of the comet can be described well using the standard astronomy ...

About a month or so back I realised that there is another problem with the 4SE, it wouldn't power up. Firstly I thought this was due to a battery drain, and that's the first thing I tried.While it worked once, after about half an hour of sky watching it stopped working again. It is quite improbable for a new set ...

Giant Sunspot Group - AR 2192 A giant sunspot group, AR2192, has formed on the sun again, and the group is now larger than the largest sunspot group we saw last year, making this the biggest sunspot group in the decade.AR2192 - 500mm Samyang Mirror Lens, Baader Solar Filter If you would like to know how big this really is, have a look at this image ...

Lightening Photography I have not been able to do any decent astrophotogaphy sessions recently. The rains are here and here comes the lightening shots.I'm fascinated of how it always strikes over the sea. All photos were taken with a 30s exposure F8.0 and F5.6 on a tripod. That actually makes it easier to capture lightening. You don't really have to do anything. ...

Few days back, when I was trying to do some random stellar observations, I realised that the 4SE wasn't aligning properly and the goto function was off a little more than you'd expect. Given that weather wasn't on my side, I decided to let it go for the moment. I finally made a one star alignment and was trying to ...

Since it is the monsoon season again, I've been thinking of writing something about astrophotography rather than actually engaging in it. Coincidentally, one of my friends sent in an article based on some scholarly work where the team was working on combining deep space photos that are general public to create more detailed photos which are comparable with the ones ...

NexStar 4SE finderscope / starfinder / spotterscope not working During a failed attempt to observe and photograph the Camelopardalids meteor shower, I found out that the finderscope of the 4SE was not working. If you have not done this, try doing it, it is ridiculously hard to successfully aim the telescope at anything if your finderscope is not working.After testing with multiple batteries, my immediate worry was that the ...

Spot The Planets - 2 I was going to wait till I get a good shot of Mercury before I posted this. But it is unlikely that I would be able to do stargazing in the next few weeks, so decided to put up what I managed to capture yesterday and today.Venus - 25th Jan 2014Mars - 26th Jan 2014Jupiter - 26th Jan 2014Saturn - ...

Spot the planets This is a good month to spot the planets, the whole five of them which are visible to the naked eye.As soon as the sun sets, check the western skies and you will see a very bright star very close to the horizon. This is in fact not a star but the planet closest to the sun, Mercury.Mercury - Evening ...

Jupiter Closest to Earth Today. Photo Opportunity! If you are a owner of a camera which has more than 10x zoom (better yet if you have a DSLR and a zoom lens longer than 100mm), you have a good chance of catching Jupiter with its moon on photo today.Jupiter is closest to Earth today. This means it passes roughly around 628 million km from Earth compared to ...

2013 was (supposedly) an awesome year for astronomy. I actually thought it should've been called the Year of Comets with 5 comets going past. 2013 also came in with two solar eclipses, one annular and a rare hybrid eclipse (the last hybrid solar eclipse prior to 2013 occurred in 2005).Looking forward to 2014, here's what we got:Meteor ShowerJan 3,4Quadrantids meteor ...

More than meets the eye Moon and Venus - 06th Dec 2013This was the view from my balcony when I returned home today, and that is what prompted me to take the next photo.The photo above, is very unlikely to be what you think it is. No it's not the Moon. It is in fact the planet Venus.Sometimes called the twin sister of Earth, Venus ...

Polaris There is one photo that I thought I would never be able to take from Sri Lanka. I was thinking of going to the northern most corners just to see if it would provide a good view for this. Seems like you don't have to try that hard.Polaris and Big Dipper. Polaris is at the dead center of the bottom ...

Jupiter with Moons Composite image of Jupiter (16x1/80sec ISO400) and Galilean Moons (1x1/10sec ISO800)The photo is a composite image of a high exposure shot to bring up the Galilean moons and a stacked image of Jupiter. The image of Jupiter might be the best I've done so far.Jupiter 16x1/80 ISO 400 stacked on Registax

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