Manasi Saraf Joshi
Pune, May 20, 2021: In what you might call a rare feat, 16-year-old Prathmesh Jaju clicked over 50,000 photos of the moon. And what’s new about these photos is that they aren’t blurry or pixelated when zoomed in. He tried to capture the moon in its three phases.
A 10th standard student of Vidya Bhavan High School, Prathmesh from childhood had a fascination and curiosity for astronomy and astrophysics. Although he says that this taste comes in part from his father Ritesh Jaju, a businessman, it was various TV series that caught and stopped his attention.
He explains, âThis image is an HDR composite of two different images designed to give it a three-dimensional effect. This is my most detailed and clearest photo of the third quarter mineral moon. I captured over 50,000 images on 186 Giga bytes of data which almost killed my laptop with the processing.
âI captured around 38 panels at a focal length of 1500 and 3000mm with a 1.2 megapixel ZWO ASI120MC-S, which made this huge image of almost 50 megapixels. (Reduced resolution for mobile)
âªï¸Celestron 5 Cassegrain OTA.
âªï¸ SkyWatcher EQ3-2 GO-TO.
âªï¸GSO 2X BARLOW
(Which allowed me to shoot at 3 meters focal length) “
It was the night of May 3 when Prathmesh went to the patio of his house and started making videos of the cutest Moon satellite. He started clicking pictures at 1 a.m. and finished his work at 5 a.m. It took him a day and a half (38 to 40 hours) to process these images.
He informs: âA video means 2,000 photos which, after the merger, finally gave me a photo. I merged 38 videos which ultimately gave me 50,000 photos. I treated the photos in general; we see gray and white photos of the moon. But there are many minerals present on it which gives it color.
Like titanium makes it blue, oxide or copper makes it red, âhe says. âWe see the white side because it is lit by sunlight. We can also clearly see the craters and the rough surface of the Moon, âhe said.
He not only captured the image of the moon but also various galaxies, planets like Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter.
Member of Jyotirvidya Pratishthan
Prathmesh being an amateur astronomer, he was a member of Jyotirvidya Pratishthan, an institute that raises awareness about astronomy. âI was interested in astronomy so I became a member and volunteer of the institute,â he said.
Astrophotography and India
Prathmesh who wishes to make his career in astronomy and astrophysics also has a strong taste and an ability as an astrophotographer. âAstrophotography is not a very developed branch in India, but it is a rage in Western countries,â he said.
âOf the photographers we have in our country, only 5% are astrophotographers,â he says. It’s hard work and you have to have immense taste and knowledge, âhe adds.
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