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Parade of Planets At Starfest

planet star party astrophotography dslr tripod


Alen Koebel

Parade of Planets At Starfest

A nine-panel mosaic of the Milky Way taken from the Starfest star party north of Mount Forest, Ontario. The camera was mounted directly on a tripod, with tracking accomplished internally using the camera's Astrotracer feature. I would have used a wider-angle lens to get this shot without needing a mosaic but I don't have one. Microsoft's Image Composite Editor (ICE) was used to construct the mosaic. The unusual aspect of this photo is that it has captured three planets: Mars on the left, Saturn in the middle near M8 and M20, and Jupiter near the right edge. Earlier that evening Venus was also visible near the western horizon, making four planets simultaneously visible across the sky. Notice also the red and green banded air glow, which is most obvious to the right of the Milky Way. (This was, btw, my first astro-mosaic and only my second image taken using Astrotracer.)

_Imager: Pentax K-3II DSLR (APS-C). _Lens: SMC Pentax-M 28mm f/2.8 @ f/2.8 _Exposure: 60 seconds x 9 panels @ ISO 1600. _Tracking: Astrotracer (built in) _Date: August 10, 2018. _Location: Near Ayton, Ontario, Canada. _Sky Conditions: Bortle ~3, good transparency.

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