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Best of Pentax Forums Newsletter Challenge #19: Heavenly Bodies
Posted By: cjfeola, 02-27-2024, 10:53 PM

Humans have always had a fascination with the heavens. Share with us your best images of heavenly bodies! Shots of the moon, planets, astrophotography…show us what you capture when you point your camera toward the heavens! Then tell us how you got the shot in the comments! We'll feature some images in The Best of Pentax Forums free newsletter that goes out to over 1,000 Pentaxians every Wednesday; come join us here if you haven't had a chance to subscribe!

This challenge runs through March 5.
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02-28-2024, 09:00 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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Southern skies as we see them in the Kgalagadi desert on a clear night. The two bright stars in the center are the pointers (alpha and beta centauri). Coal sack to the right of center. Southern cross just to right of coal sack. Southern pole at bottom center. Eta carinae at bottom right and Omega centauri top, towards the right.
K5 iis, 21mm f3.2 at f3.2, 15s, ISO3200 adjusted in Lightroom.
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Last edited by stoflom; 02-28-2024 at 09:10 AM.
02-28-2024, 12:19 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Rosette in Hα Smithriverphoto Observatory

After trying with a tiny 50mm tasco scope in my youth, I originally started getting back into astronomy then into Astrophotography(AP) after buying a too large spotting scope on sale(celestron c6-xlt-a 1500mm/f10), deciding that things moved through the screen way too fast, I gradually built what is now a remote observatory. Somewhere during my research I incorrectly chose a Pentax K50 and then tried to get it to do remote capture, spent most of a year testing for libGPhoto to try to make it work with Pentax so I could use it with other remote software, eventually deciding it was locked out/broken on purpose(glaring at Ricoh). We had made other K series cameras work but not mine... I happily reported the new functionality in forums, and eventually bought an old used K5 to use with my cobbled up DIY system. I finally retired the diy/cg4 mount and bought an eq6r-pro, but still use many of my DIY opensource projects. There is a phrase in cycling "cheap light strong, pick any two.", and this also applies to AP except it's "cheap, easy, accurate, pick any two". I did it cheap, but it wasn't easy. :P
My current living room bigscreen setup is EQ6R-pro,TPO 150mm/f4 imaging newtonian(w/ 1.1x coma corrector),pentax k5d - DIY full spectrum , asi120fit to a modified 50mm finder scope for autoguiding, DIY filter wheel, focus and dark/flat cover(in progress). I use all opensource Kstars/ekos for control and process mostly in Siril/rawtherapee in Linux. I'm currently trying to decide if taking the leap to a larger mirror is warranted, or just let it pass like so many other hobbies I've hit the glass funding ceiling on.
02-29-2024, 06:07 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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I only tried stars once and was a bit disappointed so didn’t try that again but I do have the super snowmoon from 2019 as some sort of contender.

03-06-2024, 10:39 AM - 2 Likes   #5
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I've been doing astrophotography for over 20 years now, and one reason I chose theK-1 when it was time to move up to a FF camera from my Canon 70D was the astrotracer fuctionality. I don't use astrotracer all that much these days but I do use the K-1 as my primary imaging camera. here's a few of my favorite shots.

Shot with the 28-105 kit lens at 105mm using the new Astrotracer mode 3 this is 49x60s Stacked in AstroPixelProcessor and processed in Pixinsight and Photoshop.

03-06-2024, 03:26 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Taken over the Atlantic Ocean during nautical twilight with a KP and DA55-300 PLM, ƒ/6.3, 300.0 mm, 1/20, ISO 400. It's a streaky cloud going across the lower third, and the moon was at the right position to catch the gradient in the twilight sky. I bumped the ISO up to 400 to get a little faster shutter speed and freeze the moon, it also helped get that bird.
03-06-2024, 03:37 PM - 1 Like   #7
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I took this one in 2012 with a K-30 and Kiron 28/2. 6 sec, ISO 100, did not record aperture, but probably somewhere around f8. The setting moon is behind some clouds so those clouds are somewhat illuminated, of course all the grounded objects are silhouettes. The six seconds probably helped the stars show up with that little movement.


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