Peering at the star - Hobby Origins

 I am starting to write this post at around 5 AM in the morning, because I woke up from a random dream, in which I ended up being the titular character of a video game. After my divorce, one of the things I have been trying to find has been a diversion or something to focus on. Luckily, I have always been good at finding hobbies.

I was fortunate enough to have friends who would be willing to bear the cold with me and the insects in the middle of state parks. 

The initial investment is a bit of a pain. I started with Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope. There are a bunch of reason. Please don't mind me being nerdy and continue reading on.

  • Compared to refractive telescope(one which uses just two lenses to focus), reflective telescopes are compact and images  are not dulled down. (if you want to know more loop up refraction , photon excitation, convcept of lasers)
  • Reflective telescopes are less prone to chromatic aberrations. if a lens is not shapped correctly  or has uniform density different light wavelengths get refracted differently and as a result focal length for each wavelength change leading to a blurred image with different colors. Here is an example:


  • The last but not the least is that reflective telescopes are dirt cheap! But not as cheap as you think!
So I went with a reflective one. One of the beginer ones , a Celestron NexStar 6SE Telecope.




Its perfect for beginers and good for travels. One of the biggest issues in using a telescope is star tracking and this one is  computerized, allowing for automated tracking. You set it up with location , date information, perform alignment configuration of your choice and then you are good to go.

My first attempt at the moon was hilarious, I didn't know about alighments, tracking and focus. I was in the middle of Edgar creek state park and panicking with every gunshot sounds echoing. 

After 2 hrs of agonizing pain, I managed to get it going and it was worth it!
The first one was a bit lost on the focus and so your can see the so mentioned chromatic aberrations. 

Arunkumar Lunar photography chromatic aberrations

Learning from my mistakes is not my strongest suit but I definitely learned a lot. The next time was at Jubilee State Park. Though not a full moon it turned out real good. 

A special Note: IPhones are really bad for cascading with telescopes! They dont have built in correction for chromatic aberrations! I took this one with my Pixel 4 XL cascaded onto the telescope with a 3D smart phone camera mount and it turned out really well.


Arunkumar Mourougappane Lunar Photography

Astrophotography - The fun part!

Astrophotography was one of my best experiments ever. I learned a lot about using shutter apertures, exposure corrections, exposure times etc.

I used a Nikon D3300 at f /4.4 aperture size , ISO 800, 30s exposure shots. 
The raw data is goood but I had to do a bit of image stacking to bring out the colors. Here are some!

Arunkumar  Mourougappane Astrophotography

Arunkumar  Mourougappane Astrophotography

Arunkumar  Mourougappane Astrophotography





There are a lot more that I am working on hope it comes out good! Happy Stargazing!

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