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

Today (03rd November 2013) marks the last eclipse for the year of 2013 and it is a total solar eclipse for some areas in the world. Although Sri Lanka is not in that list, if you want to see how it looks like, there is someone webcasting it as it happens:SLOOH - Total Solar Eclipse or embedded via the SLOOH website The webcast of the eclipse will begin at around 17:15 Sri Lankan time.

Jupiter through Nexstar4SE Given the current weather in the evenings, I didn't expect to do much of stargazing. But imagine my surprise when I woke up around 3:30 AM to one of the clearest skies I've seen in Colombo.Did a bit of pointing, and decided to shoot Jupiter. One of the things that I shot way back when I was using my Astromaster ...

Venus You can see a very bright star in the evening skies these days. Have a look at the western skies, just after the sunset, you will see a very bright star. It is so bright, that you can see it just after the sun sets and the skies are still blue.This is not actually a star. It's the planet Venus. ...

Orion Nebula The very first constellation I learned to recognise was Orion. Perhaps it's fitting that the very first presentable deep space image I did was also related to it.The Orion Nebula (M42/NGC1976)The Orion Nebula is visible to the naked eye, but cannot see much details to fully appreciate the beauty of it. The nebula is essentially what makes up the second ...

NexStar4SE - First Impressions About a week back, the NexStar 4SE that I ordered arrived. I've been quite eager to test it out in the field but however so far been unsuccessful due to bad weather. But the first impressions so far have been good. Here's a short review on the 4SE compared to the 114EQ.Out of the box:Everything was neatly packed in ...

Partial Lunar Eclipse - 25th April This year is what probably you should call the Year of Astronomy. We are going to have three lunar eclipses, two solar eclipses (and one of them being a hybrid solar eclipse; an eclipse that appears as a total eclipse to some areas and an annular eclipse to other areas), three comets and Saturn at the closest to Earth. If ...

Saturn - First Shot Probably about an year or so back, I tried to capture Saturn. It didn't work out well because there was a collimation error in the telescope; Saturn turned out like two saucers placed face to face.Last week, when I visited a national park, I decided to try it once more, this time with the Samyang 500mm Mirror Lens. This also ...

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