Using Lasers To Shut Down Street Lights And Get Better Space Photos

One of the biggest obstacles of taking good astronomical photos is light pollution, this is why almost every tip article on night photos has a tip about getting away from the city. But what if you want to take photos in your driveway? In that case, street lights will most probably kill each and every one of your photos.

Astronaut Don Pettit (previously) has a neat little trick he uses to shut down that annoying street light he has just outside his driveway. He points a laser at the street light sensor which tricks the street light into thinking that it is still day outside and preserve energy by shutting down.

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Hubble Telescope Captures Space Smiley

A smiling lens

Photo: NASA/ESA

There’s a saying that goes “Smile, and the world will smile back”. In this case it was the universe that smiled back, as the Hubble Space Telescope photographed deep space galaxies.

The smiley in the photo appeared thanks to a cosmic lens which was created due to warped spacetime (English explanation below).

Photographed at least three years ago, The Hubble team processed the photo after the smiley face was spotted during a public contest.

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Create Your Own Planets for Indoor Astrophotography

Have you ever wanted to photograph the planets or create a video in space, just to realize that unless you score a job at NASA (or get a D810A) your dream won’t become a reality?

If you have, then Petri Dish Planets is exactly what you’re looking for.

Watch this tutorial to learn how you can make your own planets, using household items like milk, dish soap and food coloring.

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Nikon D810A Announced. Not Recommended For General Use.

Nikon’s first dedicated astrophotography DSLR promises to be the deep-sky photographer’s new best friend. Offering everything the D810 has to give, as well as some very useful new features specifically designed for astrophotography, this camera will take your photos to new heights.

The only downside of the D810A, at least until the price is announced, is that it is designed exclusively for astrophotography.

Even if you’re not into astronomy, these sample photos will make you want to get this camera.

UPDATE: the price has been announced – $3,800.

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Nikon Rumored To Release A D810 Version Optimized for Deep-Sky Astrophotography

D810 Astro

Space fans, this one’s for you. According to Nikon Rumors we might see a new version of Nikon’s D810, dedicated to deep-sky astrophotography, released sometime today or tomorrow.

The modified infrared cut filter will allow greater transmittance of hydrogen-alpha, necessary when photographing diffuse nebulae.

Following Canon’s 20Da (2005) and 60Da (2012), this could be the first full frame DSLR optimized for astrophotography.

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NASA High-Res Photos Organized Into A Huge Creative NASA Pack (First Of A Series)

nasa-creative-pack-01

If you are like me and just LOVE space images this is going to be some very sweet news. Creative Reid Southen  went through the tedious job of organizing the many photos NASA releases into a creative Pack.

This is a huge pack consisting of 2,400 high-res photos from the Expeditions 30-42 to the International Space Station. They are mostly sourced from Flickr.

Those 8 expeditions provide plenty of eye opening images that NASA distributes under the Creative Common License (and they are usually marked CC-by, which means that you can use the photo however you would like as long as you attribute them back to NASA, or or CC-by-nc which means that you can use it but not make money out of it ).

Reid makes no claims on originality and has simply organized the photos into a usable pack, which is totally OK under the CC-by license. He also included an attribution folder which will help you to verify that you are using the image correctly without infringing on NASAs copyrights:

Being Creative Commons though, the licenses will vary, so it’ll be up to you to abide by them. I’d include a text file for each photo with the link to the source to make attribution and getting license details easy

The package is ordered by topics:

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In Santa’s Sleigh Tracks: Watch The International Space Station Crossing The Moon

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The ISS crossing the moon. Eidelheit extracted this frame from the video he shot.

How high must your shutter speed be in order to photograph an object traveling at 17,500 mph while crossing another object moving at 2,288 mph? Not very high actually, when the nearest of the two objects is over 200 miles away and the other is over 225,000 miles away. However, you must be prepared well in advance and ready for the action as you will have less than one second to get your shot!

Gadi Eidelheit of Venus Transit did just this when he captured some rather rare footage of the International Space Station crossing in front of the moon.

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Magnificent Milky Way Photography Made Easy(ish).

PhotoPills

Have you ever found yourself lifting your jaw off the keyboard, completely stunned by an out-of-this-world photo of the Milky Way?

This is one of those subjects were you can either get an “Eh” shot that will accumulate a few likes on social media websites, or you can create a potentially viral piece of art that will make E.T. wish he had stayed on Earth simply to enjoy the view.

More often than not, the difference seems to boil down to planning and hard work rather than equipment. This is not to say that equipment isn’t important, but we’ve already seen what a pro can do with even the cheapest gear.

A new and exceedingly comprehensive tutorial called “How To Shoot Truly Contagious Milky Way Pictures” will significantly help with your planning and cut back on wasted nights outdoors.

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