# Our Beautiful Universe - Photos and Videos

I caught 3 frames @ 1800mm f/12 1/1000th sec 3200iso in RAW format during an ISS flyover last night. It was over Redding, California, USA at about 6:46p local time on 11/19/21. I converted just the green channel of the individual frames to a short video.

I'm not sure if I'm seeing any actual details or if it's all artifacts...

Using some noise reduction and histogram stretching techniques in Adobe Lightroom I was able to obtain these color versions (0.463 arcsec/pixel):

Last edited:
DennisN and collinsmark
Jupiter:

DennisN
Saturn:

collinsmark and DennisN
Hello,
its interesting images, its quite similar to my results. Which gear you use for these..?
thank you and lot of succes

Gold Member
2020 Award
Some new fun and pretty affordable gear (homemade and second hand):

Home-built Star Focusing Aid

I got inspired by the page I posted before about building a star focusing aid from some kind of perforated screen.

At home I had a couple of very thin perforated plastic screens which are for ventilation holes in computers and other electronic equipment (you put them in front of holes to protect the equipment from some dust and other things getting in). I'm pretty sure such screens can be easily found online (I think I got mine from AliExpress a couple of years ago).

I cut out two quadratic pieces of cardboard (120 x 120 mm) and then cut out quadratic holes (60 x 60 mm) in each of them, put them on top of each other and merged them with duct tape. I used two pieces of cardboard to make the frame more solid. Why quadratic and not circular? Well, it was easier to cut quadratic pieces and the shape really doesn't matter.

Then I put a cut-out plastic perforated screen in front of the 60 x 60 mm hole and secured it with duct tape.

It's not pretty, but it seems to work. I've tried it with a 400 mm tele lens on remote lights and it produces dotted diffraction spikes as a focusing aid. It will be put to test in the field on real stars.

I will also drill a couple of holes in the frame, put in and secure some small rods in the holes and connect a rubber band or something to the rods, so the focusing aid can be put in front of on any lens (up to ca 120 mm in diameter, though the perforated screen is smaller of course). Thanks to the material used, the focusing aid also got extremely lightweight.

Here's the "one size fits all" focusing aid:

(only the highest quality cardboard and duct tape were used to produce this premium product )

Fast Lenses

Here's a lens I won yesterday on a Swedish auction site (for $173) which I'm really excited to test. Samyang 12mm f/2.0 It's a Samyang 12mm f/2.0 ultrawide (ca 95-99 degrees field of view, IIRC) and also pretty fast lens, which is said to be great for low light photography and thus wide photography of the night sky. The same lens is also marketed under the brand "Rokinon". I am very excited to test this lens at dark sites in the near future. Two reviews of the lens: Another lens I've been looking for is the Canon nFD 50mm f1.4, which is a pretty fast 50mm, also good for low light conditions. I found one in excellent condition on Ebay from Japan for$90 (+$21 shipping), which I ordered yesterday. Canon nFD 50mm f/1.4 Teleconverter I also won this teleconverter recently on a Swedish online auction, and I got it dirt cheap. I payed$1 for it (+\$6 shipping). It's a 2x teleconverter for Canon FD lenses, which doubles the focal length.

Canon FD Teleconverter (2X CFE TELEPLUS MC6)

Last edited:
collinsmark and Devin-M
Photo from the Bohemian Higlands with the milky way core.

- Sony A7 + Tamron 24/2.8 + Sky Watcher Star Adventurer mount
- Foreground is panorama from 3 images, sky is panorama from 3 images (each stacked from 9 expositions).
- Edited in: Photoshop, PixInsight and PTGui

Last edited by a moderator:
Devin-M and DennisN
Looks like the moon, but actually an overexposed crescent of Venus...

Hello,
its interesting images, its quite similar to my results. Which gear you use for these..?
thank you and lot of succes
Thanks... it's a Meade Maksutov-Cassegrain LX85 1800mm focal 150mm (6") aperture f/12 w/ Nikon D800 on a Star Adventurer Pro 2i (overloaded 2-3x past the weight limit I should add)... I'm getting 0.463 arcsec/pixel with that combination and I've been running the numbers on Astrometry.net and Stellarium and I think it must actually be closer to 2180mm f/14.5, for some reason...

PhysicoRaj, DennisN, collinsmark and 1 other person
Keith_McClary
Gold Member
perforated plastic screens which are for ventilation holes
What pitch (holes per cm) is good? Would window screen work? I learned:
Standard screens have a mesh size of 18 by 16, meaning there are 18 squares per inch from the top left corner to the top right corner (also referred to as warp) and 16 squares per inch from the top left corner to the bottom left corner (also referred to as fill).
(I can't find that meaning of "fill" in my Oxford.)

Gold Member
2020 Award
What pitch (holes per cm) is good? Would window screen work?
I don't know, maybe . I just did it with the perforated plastic sceens I had, i.e. trial and error.
But since you asked I just measured the holes on my screen and they are about 0.9 mm in diameter (ca 9-10 holes per cm).

The holes in the splatter screen the other guy used (on this page) looks a bit larger to my eyes.
I guess they are about 1-1.5 mm in diameter.

Last edited:
Keith_McClary
the Moon (11/19/21):

2180mm f/14.5 Maksutov-Cassegrain w/ Nikon D800, 1/1250th sec, 400iso, 50% crops, single shot, raw mode, edited Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop

Last edited:
DennisN and collinsmark
Gold Member
2020 Award
the Moon (11/19/21):
Very cool! It looks like you took them from orbit. Which mission are you on?

Borg and Keith_McClary
Phantom Galaxy - Distance: 32 million light years

22x 3.5 min (1.28 hrs) @ 6400iso 2180mm f/14.5

Last edited:
collinsmark and DennisN
collinsmark
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Phantom Galaxy - Distance: 32 million light years

Nice. The Phantom Galaxy (Messier 74) is a difficult target (very low "surface brightness" for a Messier object). -- I'm presently working on that target too, but I still have several more nights of data to take. Image to come in the nearish future.

Nice. The Phantom Galaxy (Messier 74) is a difficult target (very low "surface brightness" for a Messier object). -- I'm presently working on that target too, but I still have several more nights of data to take. Image to come in the nearish future.
Thanks. I think my biggest challenge last night was the wind. I think only 1 out of 22 of my 3.5 minute sub-frames wasn’t affected. 8 of them were so bad the software couldn’t align them but I went ahead and stacked the other 16 even though they were pretty bad and I think that’s mostly the reason it came out so blurry. I think the Star Adventurer 2i Pro is “the little tracker that could” when conditions are perfect but its very susceptible to wind and can take up to 2 minutes to stop wobbling once it starts.

collinsmark
This is what the 3.5 minute subframes (x22) looked like from the wind:

DennisN and collinsmark
Gold Member
2020 Award
PhysicoRaj, Borg and collinsmark
You know guys, I'm really amazed what way humanity has done to reach that development level we have now. Sputnik-1 was the first satellite in space. It spent 3 months in space, completed over 1400 Earth's orbits and travelled 70+ million km! I'll just attach a small documentary video, you should definitely see it!

DennisN and collinsmark

Keith_McClary, collinsmark and DennisN
Gold Member
2020 Award
I see Orion and the Pleiades (at least I've learned something from being out in the cold nights. A couple of years ago I would not recognize the Pleiades ).
Are you shooting the Orion nebula?

Gold Member
2020 Award
I've been annoyed at the consistently bad weather lately, particularly since I'm very keen and excited to try my new gear. As consolation I did a parody clip to let off some steam.

I know this meme has been done to death, but the astro/stargazing community all over the world is in desperate need of a parody. At least I had fun doing it.

Here it is, premiering on PF:

Devin-M and collinsmark
Are you shooting the Orion nebula?

Orion Nebula:

These were with 30 second (x120) exposures at 1600iso, 2180mm f/14.5 on a Nikon D800 full frame dslr under moonless bortle 6 skies, no filters. View in WorldWideTelescope

Last edited:
Keith_McClary, collinsmark and DennisN
Excelent image of O.nebulae, especially last one.!!:)

and Hitler clip is super as well.. (it seems that this part of movie is generally used for parody maker --I see
two more parody clip with this already..

Gold Member
2020 Award
and Hitler clip is super as well..
I'm glad you enjoyed it. I had fun doing it. It's been cloudy here for weeks now, and I was tired of seeing the grey skies.

(it seems that this part of movie is generally used for parody maker --I see
two more parody clip with this already..
Oh yes, there have been many, many parodies done over the years using that scene.
Before I did mine, I searched for an astro parody of that scene, but it seems it had not been done before.