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Mars InSight Fun Photo
Lens: Pentax-D FA 150-450 mm Camera: Pentax K-5 Photo Location: Santa Barbara ISO: 800 Shutter Speed: 1/500s Aperture: F5.6 
Posted By: GeoJerry, 05-07-2018, 11:00 PM

Just a fun pic using Photoshop and a few layers. We went up into the mountains to try and get a shot of the Mars InSight launch and flyover. Since the flight path was towards the south (towards us), and the gibbous moon was also to the south, I was hoping to get a shot of contrails and the moon in the same frame. But it didn't work out that way. The InSight's rocket had no contrails at all, in fact it just looked like a very fast flying jet. So I combined an image just after launch with a separate image of the moon taken just earlier. Both pictures were taken using my 150-450 mm lens (using all 450 mm) with my K-5 for an effective focal length of about 675 mm. The rocket you see was about 45 miles away, taking off from Vandenberg. I really didn't know how to expose for it, and I blew out the contrail (which burned away shortly after this) but you can just barely see the rocket above it. We were watching it go by just after this picture when the first stage fell off and we lost track of it for a moment. When we checked to see what was going on, we saw that it was already south of the Mexican border!

Also attached is a view towards the south showing the city of Santa Barbara and its westerly suburb of Goleta, and a shot looking north towards the mountain ridge. This was at about 4 AM.

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08-30-2018, 12:09 PM   #2
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Those were beautiful night skies, thanks for sharing. I really loved the two last pictures. Wants me want to give it a go doing night time photography.
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