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Astro-Imaging in Bosoboso March 30, 2014

Imaging the night sky in Antipolo, Philippines, last March 29-30, 2014 with fellow astrophotography enthusiasts. I was able to visually observe some Messier objects near Sagittarius, along with the Milky Way, which is now well-placed in the southern horizon at around 3-4 am. I will be posting  images soon. For previous observations, click here.

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

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AHA_interview_anthony_urbano

TV interview on astrophotography aired on March 2, 2014

I had an interview with GMA 7 on imaging planets, galaxies, and nebula using a telescope, as part of a feature on various types of photography. The segment was aired last March 2, 2014, at AHA!, a science and technology program hosted by Drew Arellano. For a recording of the interview, click here.

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

A sudden burst of light called a satellite flare will be visible in the sky in the early morning of March 30, 2014 (Sunday) as a satellite named Iridium 37 directs sunlight towards ground through one of its large reflective antennas. Even with just the naked eye, observers should see the satellite emerge from the northern horizon at around 5:16 am, slowly climb as it reaches overhead (zenith) at 5:23 am, and continue to brighten up as it moves southward reaching its peak brightness at around 5:24 am (Philippine Standard Time), positioned approximately 50 degrees above the southern horizon then eventually fade and disappear at around 5:30 am.

Flare_March30_FacingSouth

The illustration shows how the sky will look like on March 30, 2014 during a predicted sudden brightening (or flare) of a satellite (named Iridium 37) at around 5:24 am (Philippine Standard Time), approximately 50 degrees above the southern horizon. Satellite flares are caused by sunlight bouncing off a satellite’s reflective surface like antenna or solar panels acting as giant space mirrors directing sunlight towards the ground, with peak brightness lasting for several seconds. Map of the sky generated using Stellarium.

Aside from the satellite, naked-eye objects such as the Moon, Venus, and Mercury will also be visible in the eastern horizon, as well as Saturn and Mars in the western horizon. For a detailed map of the sky (generated by Heavens-Above) that shows the path of the satellite, click here.

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Here are some night-sky images taken during our recent visit to Coron, Palawan, one of the country’s top tourist destination, known for its pristine beaches and crystal clear waters.

Coron_Palawan_MilkyWay_Westown

Image of the Milky Way taken in Coron, Palawan, at around 4 am on March 8, 2014 using a Canon 600D and an 18-55 mm kit lens, set at 18 mm, f/3.5, ISO 3200. The camera was mounted on a tripod and was pointed approximately 45 degrees above the southern horizon, at 30 seconds exposure.

Here is another photo taken at the viewing deck atop Mt. Tapyas, a hill situated at the center of Coron’s town proper. It was a long climb taking all 742 steps, but once we have reached the top, it was all worth the effort because we were greeted with one of the best views of the Milky Way we have seen to date.

Coron_Palawan_MilkyWay_MountTapyas

Milky Way taken at Mt. Tapyas, in Coron, Palawan, at around 4 am on March 9, 2014 using a Canon 600D and an 18-55 mm kit lens, set at 18 mm, f/3.5, ISO 1600. The camera was mounted on a tripod and was pointed approximately 45 degrees above the southern horizon, and was exposed for 30 seconds.

Aside from the sea and the sand, Coron also offers pristine dark skies that will definitely impress anyone who loves to gaze at the stars above. To learn how to take photos like these using a DSLR, click here.

For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.

For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.

To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Modified Canon 450D DSLR (March 2014)

My most recent project: a camera that can take photos of deep space! It has special filters to make it more sensitive to galaxies and nebula, and operates at freezing temperatures to minimize sensor noise.

Shown in above is my most recent version of a TEC-cooled (Peltier) Canon 450D DSLR intended for astro-imaging. This one has been housed in rigid plastic case with custom-fabricated aluminum lens mount to accept standard Canon lenses and T-adapters. The camera’s stock filters (both the IR and the dust-cleaning filter) were replaced with a Baader UV-IR filter to optimize sensitivity to H-alpha wavelengths and also serve as the sealed chamber’s optical window. During operation, sensor temperature drops to 35 degrees C below ambient.

This is still a work-in-progress. More photos of the project may be found here. Results of field-tests will be posted as soon as they become available. Clear skies!

Related link: Canon 450D DSLR Modification

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

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