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Off Topic: For space and astronomy lovers, a hobby

OuchThatHurts

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I'm just a hobbyist but I've devoted many nights over the last 20 years or so to astronomy and photography of planets and deep space objects. Here are some of my best photos from over the years. Most of these images are made up of hundreds of LRGB photos (Luminance, Red, Green, and Blues) stacked into subsets then combined to form a composite images. I use two laptops. One for tracking, the others for camera control. First my rig:

9.25" Celestron 2750mm SCT optical telescope assembly and 80ED 600mm APO refractor OTA on Atlas EQ mount:

Screenshot_2018-08-02-20-12-18-1.png

My first object was the moon as the least technical.

20181118_173709.jpg
After some time on the moon, there was some fun photos for effects and practice:

Milky way galaxy as seen from North East USA:

Screenshot_2018-08-02-20-20-41-1.png

This is a stationary scope aligned with Polaris, a double star. The streaks are from 1hr 20mins of exposure time of Earth's rotation on the polar (northern) axis.

20200110_174220.jpg

This is the International Space Station passing in front of the moon. Timing had to be perfect because it passes in 0.49 seconds. I barely got it.

20210320_233946.jpg

Then on to some DSO's (deep space objects). This is Messier 22 (M22) in the constellation Sagittarius. A globular cluster, M22 looks like a fuzzy spot in the night sky, but in reality is millions of stars. Quite beautiful really.

20210503_230805.jpg

Pleiades (also known as The Seven Sisters), a small cluster of young stars and nebulous dust and gasses...

20201228_215323.jpg

The Orion Nebula in Orion's belt.

Screenshot_2018-08-02-20-20-20-1.png

I have many more to add. Hope you enjoyed.
 

Matsuo Munefusa

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That’s cool. I used to do it as a kid. I never got near that good shots but my equipment was schwag compared to your dank nugs. I think my favorite part of it was just being out alone at night with the stars. It was exciting and relaxing.
 

maldorf

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My daughter and I were lucky enough to see the space station pass near our home one night not long ago. It was supposed to be really close, much more than normally. When we saw it I first thought it was an airplane, but it was moving way too fast and after looking closer you could tell it was not. It looked so close to the ground. It flew right through the path that was predicted online. It was neat for us to try to see something in space and actually see it so easily with the naked eye. There seems to be web sites that show the path of the space station and tell you, based on where you live, when and what direction to watch for it.
 

maldorf

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Guy here records it passing overhead. When we saw it, it looked a bit larger like it was closer to earth.

 

OuchThatHurts

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That’s cool. I used to do it as a kid. I never got near that good shots but my equipment was schwag compared to your dank nugs. I think my favorite part of it was just being out alone at night with the stars. It was exciting and relaxing.
The peace of it all is one of the best things about it. The universe is an awesome place and we have prime real estate. It's so easy to get hooked. It all makes our daily worries seem so far away.
 

maldorf

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Just found this crazy clip. A guy jumps from space, does a sky dive! It must be right on the edge of space because there is still lots of gravity pulling him down.

 

OuchThatHurts

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My daughter and I were lucky enough to see the space station pass near our home one night not long ago. It was supposed to be really close, much more than normally. When we saw it I first thought it was an airplane, but it was moving way too fast and after looking closer you could tell it was not. It looked so close to the ground. It flew right through the path that was predicted online. It was neat for us to try to see something in space and actually see it so easily with the naked eye. There seems to be web sites that show the path of the space station and tell you, based on where you live, when and what direction to watch for it.
My Starry Night Planetarium software tracks all satellites. Mostly to avoid a sattelite passing right in front of your exposure but also allows you to time the rising of the moon with the satellites which occasionally pass in front of the moon at my coordinates. But it's moving so darn fast you only have a split second.
 

OuchThatHurts

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It makes me feel small which then paradoxically makes me feel extremely big (oneness with everything).
We all came from the same singularity which means we are entangled in a quantum sense to the entire universe. I truly believe in the universality of all things. Even our bodies consist of matter created inside dying stars (supernovae). This entire planet and ourselves are literally stardust. Many of you may have read in ancient texts, "You are dust, and unto to dust you shall return." Perhaps then we become part of the matter of some future thing just as we may be (i.e. we never truly die).
 

Matsuo Munefusa

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We all came from the same singularity which means we are entangled in a quantum sense to the entire universe. I truly believe in the universality of all things. Even our bodies consist of matter created inside dying stars (supernovae). This entire planet and ourselves are literally stardust. Many of you may have read in ancient texts, "You are dust, and unto to dust you shall return." Perhaps then we become part of the matter of some future thing just as we may be (i.e. we never truly die).
Yes, I love that concrete explanation- we are literally one). I think of it on a perceptual/cognitive level also. Lot of interesting (for nerds like us) philosophy on fuzzy boundaries/vagueness. Our concepts, which we tend to think of as binary (yes/no as belonging to the category) map onto indiscrete “objects” with indeterminate (no?) boundaries. I have experienced this profoundly on **EDIT** - I lost the concept of my physical body having boundaries and I felt like the grass I was laying on was “me”. In deeper more incoherent psychedelic states I have completely lost my entire sense of me (ego death as it is called).

We are one. Why is it so hard to hold onto that wisdom in our day to day life though?
 
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hawkmoon

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Fantastic pictures.
I have a good friend who moved back to Perth from Tokyo and takes amazing photos. I'd have to drive way out away from Tokyo to get any good photos.

I partly satisfied myself by watching part of the ISS spacewalk cast to my TV last night while wearing my Omega Speedy "moonwatch" :p
 

OuchThatHurts

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MR. BMJ

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How much did your gear cost? Those pics are badass! I could totally get into this stuff....and the being alone and just starring out into space hoping to see cool shit..................................................................................................and hopefully an alien or two....:D
 

hawkmoon

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Far better equipment than I have. An excellent image! Aus and NZ are great viewing locations.

He goes through money on this stuff like water. But he loves it, so I can't knock him.
Lots of Takahashi, Vixen, and ZWO gear.

This shot was a Takahashi μ-250CR, ZWO ASI6200 camera, and a VIxen AXD mount (from his IG).
 

OuchThatHurts

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How much did your gear cost? Those pics are badass! I could totally get into this stuff....and the being alone and just starring out into space hoping to see cool shit..................................................................................................and hopefully an alien or two....:D
The C9.25 SCT rig, focuser, camera, mount, and software will go about $5,000-6,000 USD and the refractor assembly 80ED OTA could be done for as little as $3,000 with mount. The cameras are the costly variable with appropriate H-alpha, O-III, S-II filters being an additional $2,000-3,000 USD. You'll also need at least one good laptop for tracking and camera control and a decent PC for processing.

But all in, you could be taking some truly exceptional astronomical photos for under $5,000 and even some quality photos and observation for even half of that. Tracking ability and camera are key. If you like, I could point to some kits that would do the trick.
 

OuchThatHurts

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He goes through money on this stuff like water. But he loves it, so I can't knock him.
Lots of Takahashi, Vixen, and ZWO gear.

This shot was a Takahashi μ-250CR, ZWO ASI6200 camera, and a VIxen AXD mount (from his IG).
I also use a monochrome ZWO astro cam.

20210616_211548.jpg
 

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