18 March 2013

Milky Way - A Magic Beyond Imagination

Living in the heart of the city, it is impossible for us to see the beauty of the Milky Way. But we can see this natural beauty with the help of a digital camera. Last month, I went to the Marina Beach as early as 4:00 in the morning with my friend's DSLR (Nikon D5100). Using the Sky Map Android App, I identified the spot where the Milky Way would be at its brightest and took a few snaps of the night sky. And below is the result I got.

The above picture was an epic failure. At first I tried to take the photos with different settings of ISO, aperture and shutter speed. After taking about 8 photos, I thought the above picture was the best I could get. What a disappointment! The picture contains some bright stars and a lot of sky noise. Could see a bit of Orang-ish colour on the right end, thanks to the Light House. I expected to see atleast a bit of the Milky Way, but found nothing. Disappointed, I went back home.

I then uploaded my pics to my system. I tried to zoom in the picture to see if I could spot anything at all. And then I found something. It could just be some clouds. Or maybe its the Milky Way. I uploaded the photo into the PhotoShop and tried to remove some of the sky noise. And this is what I got.

It is the Milky Way! No doubt. I was literally jumping with joy. The morning was not in vain after all. Now I wanted to know if I could do any better with this picture. I think its best for me to mention that this was my first ever experiment with the PhotoShop. After trying to remove more sky noise, this is what I got.

Neat!!! But not enough. The Light House has played a spoil-sport. I wanted to remove that Orange noise on the right end. I tried various methods but removing the noise made the picture worse. After nearly experimenting for 2 weeks with the PhotoShop, I believe I got the best out of the ordinary picture I took.

I am now official in love with the PhotoShop. I still couldn't believe that I was able to get such a wonderful picture out of nothing. Truly, a Magic beyond Imagination.

11 March 2013

Airplane near Orion

Above is a picture I clicked a few months ago. I was trying to take a picture of the Orion Constellation when I realized an airplane had traveled right through the frame. After using the Photoshop to remove the sky noise (noise formed due to the city lights) the trail of the Airplane was visible clearly.

The almost straight line in the bottom-middle of the picture is formed by the Airplane due to the 20-sec exposure. The White dots and the red dots around the line are caused by the flickering navigation lights of the Airplane.

Apart from the Airplane we can also see the Orion Nebula shining bright along with Rigel and the Red Supergaint, Betelguese.

6 March 2013

Comet Pan-STARRS - First Look

Below is the first picture of the Comet Pan-STARRS. The Comet looks really bright and promising. The Comet is currently visible in the Southern Hemisphere during the evening after sunset. In the Northern Hemisphere, the comet is still very close to the Sun and it cannot be seen yet.

Comet Pan-STARRS illuminates the evening sky with a spectacular tail in Buenos Aires, Argentina on March 2, 2013

The Comet is expected to make an appearance in the Northern Hemisphere by March 10th. Keep your binoculars and DSLRs ready.