Sunday, January 25, 2015

Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2

Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2 is one of the brightest of recent times. It was bright enough to be seen in naked eye in early January 2015. While it was fairly easy to spot with the charts, it looked bit different than traditional naked eye comets which has a prominent tails. This one looked like a greenish ball of cotton from binoculars and small telescope like the ones that I have. A really dark sky was only be found almost an hour drive from the city outskirts.

In fact this outing of ours was featured in the local news paper Deccan Chronicle  also.

 These kind of stargazing outings keep happening in the city these days. Join AHAA - Amateur Astronomers in Hyderabad for such activities. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Panoramas in Manali

Following are couple of panoramas created by multiple DSLR shots taken and stitched together using Dermandar. This online tool not only joins the images flawlessly without any distortion but also provides an excellent viewer which can be embedded anywhere. To my surprise it also displayed the moving panorama in-line in the Facebook and could be displayed in mobile Facebook browser itself.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

This is a random post

This post - is more of a compulsion. It has been a while I did not update my blog even after promising myself to do so. Recently one of my friend Amit reminded me that I have a blog and he would like to have it updated by me frequently. He himself runs a blog posted some cool posts like Google Tricks and Lucid Chart Google Drive.   I really don't have anything specific to share at this point but I decided to go ahead and post. Hence its a kind of compulsion for me. I have been active in the social networking sites and micro-blogging sites lately and posting all interesting stuff that I come across there. I will probably put some of them here. Therefore this post is not only going to be random but also there would be some randomness among the sentences as well. I learned from my friend and writer Kunal - when you can't organize your text, just do bullets. And I am going to do so now.

Shazam Lyrics Sync
  • I discovered Shazam app not only recognizes any song that is playing within seconds but also it syncs the lyrics of the playing song. Its amazing. Now you can walk up to any bar and pretend to know all the lyrics of the song that is being played :) In fact it could highlight the talks during a concert show recording. What amazes me is that their are so many variants of the song and the matching window is so small that sometimes it is a part of multiple repeats, still it figures out the current block of lyrics and highlights.
  • Lately I have been seeing a lot of my Facebook friends posting their travel photos in Facebook and look happiest of their all time in their lives. May be I am jealous ? But i personally don't like to post a lot of photos in Facebook , at least I would probably like to post it to very close friends or share by email. Anyway good for them but I came across this video . The bottom line is I don't really care about their family photos who are just acquaintance to me . Also therse days there has been a trend of posting restaurant food pictures on Facebook. What they are eating is never interesting to me. May be its just part of the expenses they are recovering by sharing the photos with everyone on Facebok.

if Andromeda galaxy was brighter.

  • This is our neighbor Andromeda Galaxy if it were brighter. A lot of us start looking for a tiny patch in the sky when hear the word galaxy. Some of them are really big but just faint enough to require a telescope and long exposure. Rosette Nebula is another such object which is 3 times wider than moon. (Via Reditt)
  • Participated in Devthon where the city hackers got together to help Cyberabad Police in Hdyerabad . All thanks to Harish Krishnan and Prashant Venkatasubban for providing such an one of its kind platform , that was hard to imagine few years ago. It was amazing to see how the Cyberabad police department came out to help us to help them to ultimately help us. Also I could see so many bright young engineers and product designers who would probably even reject offers from the Googles and Facebooks to do something on their own. Being raised in a police officer's family it was privilege to be involved with this and encourage you to subscribe to Devthon if this excites you.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Finally DSLR meets Telescope

After prolonged resistance for buying a DSLR, I finally got a Canon EOS 600D it. The main reason was not probably photography. I have done enough photography using my point and shoot camera Sony CyberShot HX9V. It not only had a decent zoom of 16x but also very portable enough to carry in a jeans pocket. The reason why avoided was that it itself is a luggage when you travel. Secondly I was afraid of tuning into yet another IT employee claiming/wannabe professional photographer for whom a Photoshopped stray dog picture from DSLR becomes "Wile Life Photography".

Anyway I had to buy an DSLR someday to connect my telescopes to it and get some long exposure. I have done afocal photography earlier by keeping the point and shoot camera in front of the eyepiece but one can not get a long exposure in the method unless you use another tripod and OK with trails.

The preparation began when I went to USA last time where I got a telescope motor which can keep my alt-azimuth mount moving and cancelling effect of earth's rotation. I also bought a T-ring and adapter , one end of which can screw into a DSLR body and other end can go into the eyepiece holder of the telescope. All these things are not easily available in India.

Finally since it was winter I went for a DSLR and there was a couple of reason for looking into only Canon. Firstly the T-ring adapter thread was canon EOS comparable. Secondly most of my friends had Canon EOS , so I could exchange gears with them. Otherwise Nikon D5200 seemed to be a good deal in that price. Even the mirror less cameras like EOS M are really handy.

Here are the picture I shot last week after hooking up the DLSR body on to my telescope. Looks like I have to focus more precisely using the telescope knob after digitally zooming in the live view.

Notice the sound of the motor stops somewhere in the midway and the moon slowly starts to get out of the field of view.

In the coming days as I get more clear skies, I will try to capture the constellations and  brighter deep sky objects.

Monday, October 27, 2014