This High-Res Moon Photo Was Made by a Self-Taught Astrophotographer

by Michael Zhang

petapixel.com – It’s amazing the kinds of space photos that amateur photographers can create from their own backyards these days. Case in point: the high-resolution moon photo above was captured last week by Polish photographer Bartosz Wojczyński. It was stacked together using 32000 separate photos.

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Wojczyński tells us that he used “advanced image acquisition and processing techniques,” mapping violet and infrared images of the moon to blue and red channels in the final shot.

It took him about 28 minutes to shoot 32000 photos weighing 73.5 gigabytes using his ZWO ASI174MM monochrome camera, a couple of filters, his Sky-Watcher HEQ5 mount, and his Celestron C9.25 telescope (which is equivalent to a 2350mm f/10 camera lens) — equipment that cost him about $3500 total.

The photography was done from the balcony of his apartment in Piekary Śląskie, Poland:

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After the thousands of images were captured, Wojczyński spent 5-6 hours processing and stacking the images together into the 14 megapixel final image. Click here to see the original image in all its full-res glory. Here are some crops showing the details of the photo:

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“Thanks to the enhanced coloration, it’s possible to examine the differences in the chemical composition of the lunar surface,” Wojczyński tells us. “For example, the bluish tint of several areas indicates a titanium-rich soil.”


P.S. Wojczyński is the same photographer that made the six-hour exposure of the celestial north pole that we featured last month.


Source: http://petapixel.com/2015/05/04/this-high-res-moon-photo-was-made-by-a-self-taught-astrophotographer/

25 December 2014: Comet Lovejoy from Brunei (Update)

Comet Lovejoy C2014 from Brunei on Dec 25 2014 - Hazarry bin Haji Ali Ahmad
Comet Lovejoy C2014 from Brunei on Dec 25 2014

December 25, 2014, Brunei – After the waxing moon set, clouds began to clear out making tonight’s sky an excellent night to gaze the stars.

I got all of my equipment ready – an Orion Astroview 120 telescope placed on an iOptron Alt-Az mount and hooked my Canon EOS 650D on to the scope – a simple setup to photograph the comet.

Set up the scope, align it with Jupiter and slewed to RA 06h00m16s DEC -32°29’44” to point above the South-Eastern sky.

Orion Astroview 120 ST mounted on the iOprton AltAz
Orion Astroview 120 ST mounted on the iOprton AltAz

Spotted! There was a green fuzzy cloud, the comet Lovejoy C2014 Q2, in the constellation of Columba.

The comet was easily spotted in my telescope. It came to my surprise that the comet is now “tail-less” when comparing from my last observation, that was two days ago. Despite of its very faint tail, the coma has now quite a bit brighter than before. Astronomy community reported that was now at magnitude +5, which should be visible to the naked eyes under an excellent dark sky.

So, keep looking up! You never know what may come.

For star charts and Ephemeris for Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) to guide you  in your observation click here.

Comet Lovejoy C2014 grazes Brunei sky

Dec 23, 2014. DARK MOONLESS SKY TONIGHT and Comet Lovejoy C2014 was positioned high above our Brunei sky at around mid-night.

Recently in August this year, An Australian amateur astronomer, Terry Lovejoy, discovered his fifth comet, C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy).

The photograph of the Comet was captured from Tutong, Brunei Darussalam last night. It appeared amazingly bright through a telescope and features a greenish coma with a faint tail.

Comet Lovejoy C2014 from Brunei
Comet Lovejoy C2014 from Brunei

Based on the image above and comparing the magnitudes of the background stars, the comet is currently at about magnitude +5.

At the moment, the comet is hardly visible to the naked eyes if you are in a small city with light pollution. Hence binoculars or a telescope is required to view it.

Reports from astronomy communities said that the comet is still brightening. The comet will be still viewable throughout January next year and it will be at maximum brightness by mid-January 2015.

Read more info about this comet here.

Comet Lovejoy C2014 from Brunei
Comet Lovejoy C2014 from Brunei