You must log in or register to comment.

andrea_g_amato_art OP t1_iy0pod9 wrote

So, a bit of background on this:


  • I have always been passionate about astrophotography, but I couldn't afford a telescope nor an equatorial mount. I also live in one of the most light polluted areas in the world (Napoli, Italy), which discouraged me even more.

  • I still took pictures of a solar eclipse (left) by pointing my Nikon D7100 with a 105mm lens directly to the sun (Bad idea, I know!), and photographed the transit of Mercury a few years ago by projecting the sun on a sheet of paper using a binocular.

  • I took pictures of Jupiter and I could even distinguish its moons, and took really sad pics of Saturn and Mars, but my camera wasn't powerful enough.

  • Then, one day everything changed when my father decided to buy a Nikon P1000 for fun (which, although technically not a telescope, it has a super zoom) and he used it for birds and stuff like that. Once he got it I knew I had to test it with astrophotography! The first results were promising, but the quality wasn't great, and manually pointing at planets, manually focusing while the planet got out of frame was quite the task, but it paid off!

  • Still, I felt I was missing something. This is when I discovered the magic of stacking! I started taking long videos instead of photos, then through PIPP, Autostakkert and Registax I made progress.


  • The ISS was probably among the most difficult ones, since it was manually tracked (handheld) and focused while in-flight. It took several attempts to get a usable image.

  • Mercury was super annoying since it was very close to the Sun and almost impossible to find. I got it once, and I decided it was enough. Never again!

  • Venus took a long time, because I wanted to show all the different phases.

  • I have other cool composite pictures of the Moon, but I wanted to use plain ones in order to be 'fair'. The eclipse is from many years ago, before I got the super-zoom camera.

  • The only planet I was missing was Mars, because I was waiting for its closest approach (which is in a few days, but I won't be home to take pictures), and once I had it I decided to post the final collection here, hoping many other people will take pictures despite not having super expensive equipment!

  • Jupiter and Saturn are probably the easiest, although it's hard to find a night with good seeing conditions and no clouds! In the top pic you can see the red spot, which I didn't think I would be able to see with just a DSLR.

  • I only 'cheated' a bit with Uranus and Neptune, since I enlarged the pictures a bit for the final composite, which smoothed them, and I adjusted the color to match their proper one. Aside from these minor tweaks, everything else is 'fair'.

P.S. Apologies for the watermarks, I know they are annoying, but I had other works stolen in the past, and I poured years of work into this project, I hope you can understand, so I'm sorry for the inconvenience.

Have a wonderful day, and I hope I inspired you to take more photos! Space is amazing!!!


Maidwell t1_iy0t762 wrote

Fantastic, inspiring work. Love the design of the final presentation too.


usrdef t1_iy12q3p wrote

I wonder if we'll ever get commercial telescopes that are powerful enough to view Pluto like we can Mars, etc.

Would have to be one hell of a telescope.


CraigAT t1_iy2mj0o wrote

I know technically Pluto doesn't need to be there but I didn't realise there would be a technical limit too.


AtticMuse t1_iy3vw8u wrote

Considering this is what the early Hubble photos of Pluto looked like, yeah it would have to be one hell of a telescope indeed! Image from New Horizons probe as it passed Pluto on the right for comparison.


ocient t1_iy7eb01 wrote

hubble wasn't designed to look at something like pluto, or even jupiter. its early jupiter pics werent as good as ground scopes either.

the math is pretty straightforward to figure out lens size and focal length in order to resolve pluto. maybe someone else here will do that math, since i am farrrrrr too lazy


zeeblecroid t1_iy9m4xv wrote

Not without being enormous, unfortunately. The only solution to the diffraction limit is larger apertures.


anyavailablebane t1_iy2tolm wrote

You haven’t done Pluto yet?


Albert_VDS t1_iy3ef3n wrote

Why would you forget Ceres if you want to mention Pluto?


smurficus103 t1_iy3jc5b wrote

Damn i looked up ceres and it was discovered in 1801, some 40 years prior to Neptune (1846) and rides an inclined orbit between mars and Jupiter


ziostraccette t1_iy2snwc wrote

Ma Sta roba è incredibile! Mai avrei immaginato di poter vedere foto fatte cosi senza telescopio!


txmb_ t1_iy374kw wrote

As someone also limited by the sheer cost of equipment, this has given me a lot of confidence to keep at it with my DSLR and fixed tripod.

These pictures are stunning! The main thing holding me back is lacking a lens with zoom. The one I have for my Canon EOS 4000D zooms out bht not in. Great for day-to-day landscape snapping and ad-lip photography, but less so for astrophotography haha.

I do plan on investing in a zooming lens primarily, and an equatorial mount secondly to take that astrophotography to the next level, but haave still questioned how worthwhile such a huge investment would be. Seeing these settles it though, it'll definitely be worth it!

Hope you keep up your photographical adventures!


post_traumatico t1_iy36d7x wrote

Madooooooonna che figata. Il tuo lavoro è una vera ispirazione, continua così!


LiftedCorn t1_iy3lp97 wrote

I can't even get a good frame filling photo of moon with my 300mm lens, and you got this pics at 105 mm ??


andrea_g_amato_art OP t1_iy3mg2c wrote

No, I got the sun and other old pics at 105mm at first, then with the P1000 we are talking ~3000mm (so, while technically not a telescope in the traditional sense, it can take decent photos!)


ST0IC_ t1_iy0qcpc wrote

This pretty darn cool. Even more so since you did it without the fancy telescopes and mounts.


kytheon t1_iy0sccv wrote

Hey OP, that’s an awesome collection! Seems like you’re missing Earth. /s


dr_basko t1_iy23fm2 wrote

Poor Pluto…

(This is very very cool and I’m proud of you)


D3lu5ionist t1_iy2p0il wrote

Same here.. Me being from 90s in school always had Pluto as a planet in head. Still 😁😁


Cangar t1_iy2tqv3 wrote

In German there's a catchy phrase with which you can remember the orde rof the planets but it obviously involves pluto and now I'm stuck.

Mein Vater erklärt mir jeden Sonntag unsere neun.


Babou13 t1_iy3hbr3 wrote

Theres an English mnemonic on as well e, My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas


Clay_Pigeon t1_iy3l1ic wrote

My kids learned "My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nachos".


Routine_Shine_1921 t1_iy1joci wrote

You took a handheld pic of the ISS? While doing manual focus? Respect.


andrea_g_amato_art OP t1_iy27qys wrote

You have no idea! Luckily the camera has a decent stabilizer, but still, the ISS is fast! It took several attempts. I made a video, and when the ISS was in frame I tried to follow it while rotating the focus ring. This way I could ensure at least a few frames were in focus. Then I worked with those.


Routine_Shine_1921 t1_iy3f8vz wrote

Indeed it is! I have tracked it with a computerized mount (which can't track it on its own, so I ended up writing some code on a raspberry to control it), and just debugging and adjusting that tracking to get the correct slew rate was hard. And just doing manual focusing on the scope while it was slewing after the ISS was a pain in the ass. It's quick for sure.

Impressive pics man!


scunglyscrimblo t1_iy58p99 wrote

Wait so if I have a proper 8 inch telescope with good tracking, I could find the ISS in the sky in time to actually look it up close if I keep tracking it?


Lumostark t1_iy1dnas wrote

Looks cool, but why do you do my boy Pluto dirty like that


buuuurpp t1_iy0qhs3 wrote

Brilliant ! What a great project, and an end result you should be very proud of !


andrea_g_amato_art OP t1_iy0rsvp wrote

Thank you, I am!! I hope this inspires people with 'normal' equipment to take pictures!


TheLeftMetal t1_iy2ciw7 wrote

In my heart Pluto will always be a planet, goddammit.


globefish23 t1_iy2zkxe wrote

Pluto is now the King of Dwarves (together with Queen Eris). 🤷


12monthspregnant t1_iy18yhy wrote

Jesus. That's some MacGyver level photography right there. Well done!


Quasar9111 t1_iy0stms wrote

Amazing work...I am just going to bin my stuff now, I can’t even get a successful stack of the moon, lol


andrea_g_amato_art OP t1_iy0u69z wrote

I get you! None of the Moon pics were stacked, because for some reason the softwares I used had trouble with it! So I just took single shots and used the best ones I had!


Belzebutt t1_iy1io8l wrote

For Uranus / Neptune, what was the color you actually captured since this one is “adjusted”?


JustinChristoph t1_iy2fjzs wrote

Pluto isn't considered a planet anymore, correct?


globefish23 t1_iy2zitm wrote

It was recategorized into the new category 'dwarf planet' in 2006, after bigger objects (e.g. Eris, Sedna) further out in the Kuiper belt were discovered.

We would have hundreds of planets by now, and would be in the same predicament as in the 19th century with Ceres.

Ceres was initially called a planet, until the category 'asteroid' was created. Now Ceres is a dwarf planet as well.


SoretomoOre t1_iy3uotv wrote

> We would have hundreds of planets by now, and would be in the same predicament as in the 19th century with Ceres.

I hear this on reddit a lot, but why is this a predicament? It's not illegal to have 300 planets or whatever amount. I'm all aboard the "spherical due to it's own gravity" train


globefish23 t1_iy4i8ao wrote

>It's not illegal to have 300 planets or whatever amount.

All of these categories are pretty arbitrary in the first place, but cramming everything into one category is just cumbersome and silly.

>I'm all aboard the "spherical due to it's own gravity" train

Yes, dwarf planets fullfill this requirement (hydrostatic equilibrium). What they lack is having cleared their orbit from other objects.

Asteroids lack both of these.

It's essentially dividing celestial bodies into three groups by their mass with physically measurable thresholds.


SoretomoOre t1_iy4o9i4 wrote

> Yes, dwarf planets fullfill this requirement (hydrostatic equilibrium). What they lack is having cleared their orbit from other objects.

I know what they decided, I just call Ceres and Pluto planets anyway 😎


ChuckBorris_1st t1_iy0wtfk wrote

Very good work, I'm impressed! I'd buy this poster not gonna lie


cheverian7 t1_iy3at18 wrote

Why'd you miss earth? You just point the camera downwards :P


liger444 t1_iy3xp0x wrote

That's some extraordinary dedication on Venus. Good work tracking the phase like that!


kmoonster t1_iy21dvg wrote

A round of applause or ten!


And, what kind of lens? With a 600 on a crop body (900 equivalent) I can *just* begin to make out banding on Jupiter and get Saturn to look lumpy. I've toyed with a bit of astro- but it's been a lot of thinking and only a little dabbling. Before I invest more it's worth asking how big to go.

edit: also on a tripod or other stable surface; I can do the Moon unsupported but nothing else obviously! and the sun @ 150 is fine, but I don't buy it for the others, that or you are REALLY talented!


spiderplex t1_iy22ua1 wrote

the Nikon P1000 CoolPix has the equivalent of a 3000mm zoom lens = 125x


Mannix-Da-DaftPooch t1_iy23no4 wrote

This is some r/nextfuckinglevel type stuff!! Thanks a lot for sharing!


Goodtrueart t1_iy36zij wrote

I am really impressed by Uranus, I ain't a professional, I don't have camera or telescope.

Yet I enjoy reading about celestials objects. I always had the impression Uranus is really tough to have nice view of it.

Very apparently you have achieved it.

Now, Your catalogue is very nice way to introduce your achievements.

The idea that you succeeded doing it using only camera, make me also appreciate your efforts and commitment.


manalow88 t1_iy3dj4b wrote


All seriousness tho this is amazing.


Mankriks_Mistress t1_iy3oko8 wrote

Awesome pics! I'll trade you my Transit of Venus from 2012 for a collection of Gas Giants.


andrea_g_amato_art OP t1_iy3owkd wrote

I wish! I was just thinking that I missed that transit forever 😩 Unfortunately back then I still wasn’t into astrophotography / I didn’t know I could capture it with a projection and I definitely didn’t know it was that rare!


RAZR31 t1_iy3sgem wrote

Where is Pluto!?

I'm joking, but also not joking. I just want Pluto back. :(


mimbari t1_iy2gdf0 wrote

How do you focus on Uranus and Neptune? I face struggle even when using a telescope


KristnSchaalisahorse t1_iy4autx wrote

Manually focus on the stars. Adjust the focus until the stars are as small as possible.


Neaterntal t1_iy2jifk wrote

Impressive. So, all distant planets captured only with the super zoom? No 🔭?


joshsreditaccount t1_iy2kcaj wrote

you still haven’t taken a picture of earth though, i will admit it is pretty pretty hard to look for


D3lu5ionist t1_iy2p33r wrote

Anyone experts!!! Is it the Aurora in Mars that is also captured here ?? 🤔🤔


Flowchart83 t1_iy3qap3 wrote

Frozen CO2 on the poles. Mars doesn't have a global magnetic field so will never experience an aurora like on Earth.


zimirken t1_iy4bcw3 wrote

Never say never. Apparently someone did the math and it would only take <100 coils around the planet and about 100 kilowatts to make enough of a magnetic field for protection.


Flowchart83 t1_iy4bp98 wrote

I would like to see that math.


zimirken t1_iy4dx7i wrote

It was just some random comment on reddit. I did find a discussion of the concept here though:

They estimated 10GW, which is a couple nuclear powerplants. By the time you're running transmartian cables, you'll have the infrastructure to make big nuke plants. The magnetic field needs to be big, not necessarily strong.


Flowchart83 t1_iy4e83l wrote

It wasn't the concept of using a giant electromagnet that seemed off to me, it was the wattage. 10GW I can believe, 100kW I would find hard to. Also, since mars is smaller than earth and further from the sun it wouldn't need quite as powerful a field as we have.


earlofmonkey_bossa t1_iy2r16y wrote

This is really cool and thank you so much for the description on how you did it. Definitely inspiring stuff!


mitchanium t1_iy2y2x8 wrote

And there was putting off such shots because o was worried my goto scope won't cut it.

Well done.


BooFighters t1_iy3ocmd wrote

You got these pictures just from a 105 mm lens?


andrea_g_amato_art OP t1_iy3papi wrote

No, I wish! I started with a 105mm, then I got the P1000 that has the equivalent of a 3000mm lens. While not technically a telescope and very ‘dark’ (the aperture is horrible and ISO as well), that thing is a beast, and I squeezed it like a lemon to get these pics


amaurea t1_iy3upuf wrote

What do you mean with "not technically a telescope"? Is there a technical definition of a telescope that this doesn't fulfill?


MorKSD t1_iy3ogwi wrote

Complimenti!! Bellissima collezione 🤩 Hai anche una pagina Instagram per caso?


andrea_g_amato_art OP t1_iy3p1le wrote

Grazie! Sì, cerca ‘Andrea G Amato Divulgazione’. Forse mi avrai visto, per un periodo facevo i video per Focus (Poi ho una pagina ‘Andrea G Amato Art’ per i disegni)


IamNICE124 t1_iy4lo1z wrote

Huh. I don’t see Earth in there.


(Jk, this is dope)


waste_land_wanderer t1_iy5cqan wrote

What about Pluto, don't be that person who thinks it's just a rock. It's a planet too


Ok_Neighborhood_1203 t1_iy5czdv wrote

Awesome work! Im trying to do the same sub-$1000 astrophotography with much less success. I spent half on the telescope (Celestron Nexstar SLT 130) hoping I could use my cell phone for imaging but looks like I should have saved more for the camera. Didnt work out so well so far but I think an inexpensive eyepiece camera and stacking will solve the remaining issues. Keep it up... this hobby doesnt have to break the bank to open up the cosmos.


LouSanous t1_iy4vpx0 wrote

Very cool, but there's a problem. Uranus looks nothing like myanus.


Kuwangerman t1_iy224ib wrote

Am I weird for thinking "but why? Someone already did that work for you"


500ls t1_iy241xb wrote

Average "but why?" fan vs average "why not?" enjoyer


Kuwangerman t1_iy24ezb wrote

Average cringey "everything he says is in meme format" redditor. Gross


bowak t1_iy2u03j wrote

Why use these words when playwrights have already used them all before?


TheGigor t1_iy2nz9m wrote

Why learn to paint when I can just print out a Rembrandt?


Kuwangerman t1_iy2ollr wrote

So profound. Where's this man's writing award


TheGigor t1_iy3mlma wrote

Look mate, you're the only one here who thinks this dude wasted his time. Maybe reflect on that a bit.


pineapplecooqie t1_iy0s8jg wrote

unless your zoom lens is a literal telescope by some other name, that sort of resolution of outer planets is absolutely not possible. I call bullshit


Maidwell t1_iy0sv15 wrote

Did you read OPs main comment? They explain the whole process there and the editing of the outer planets.


[deleted] t1_iy0to0z wrote



andrea_g_amato_art OP t1_iy0v231 wrote

Maybe you’re just bad lol (jk)

Keep in mind that I have trashed hundreds and hundreds of pictures. These results were accomplished with long videos stacked under almost perfect seeing conditions, during the closest approach of each planet. (There’s a reason this project took so long!). Also, some of them were enlarged for the final composite, but that’s about it. Aside from Uranus and Neptune, where I adjusted the color and smoothed the pics a bit, everything else is legit, I have the .tiff files that came from the stacking, I don’t know how else to prove it. I can assure you, if you take some time to do a quick search on Google, you will find other pictures like mine taken with my same equipment. Feel free to believe what you want, I haven’t lied, that’s for sure.

I take your comment as a huge compliment by the way, it means I really am a decent astrophotographer after all, ha!


iveseenthelight t1_iy0svko wrote

The p1000 has a lens with a focal range of 24-3000mm. So these are well within the realm of possibility for that camera.


andrea_g_amato_art OP t1_iy0u0y4 wrote

Yep! I did say it had a ‘super-zoom lens’, so while not technically a telescope, with a bit of perseverance and stacking anyone can accomplish what I did!


rocketsocks t1_iy15op5 wrote

Camera lenses are literally telescopes. The OP is using a 105mm lens which is equivalent to a small refracting telescope (4"). The diffraction limit on an aperture that size is around 1.5 arcseconds, which is enough to resolve most naked eye planets into multiple pixels. Jupiter is up to 50 arcseconds across, Mars is up to 25.

Many refracting telescopes have smaller apertures, and "good" amateur telescopes start out at not much larger (at 6" or 8" apertures). Of note, Galileo Galilei's telescopes had apertures of 15mm, 26mm, and 38mm, which he used starting in 1609, 1612, and 1620, respectively. Newton's pioneering reflecting telescope, built in 1668, had an aperture of 2 inches (50mm).

The main constraint is always going to be atmospheric seeing. Which is where digital photographic techniques and stacking comes into play. With a modern top tier astronomical observatory they would use adaptive optics to cancel out the effects of atmospheric distortion. If you don't have that option you can simply use lots and lots of individual exposures. Each exposure represents a snapshot of the atmospheric conditions at a particular moment. If you're lucky you can get a single frame or a part of a single frame where by chance the air happens to be just right to have a minimal amount of distortion and blurring. With enough frames you can use a computer to select the individual frames and portions of frames with the best seeing and digitally combine them together to improve the overall signal to noise ratio of the final image. This allows you to approximate the performance of the same optics without atmospheric distortion.


KristnSchaalisahorse t1_iy4yg3e wrote

For the planetary images they used a Nikon P1000 superzoom camera with a focal range of 24-3000mm (full-frame equivalent).


andrea_g_amato_art OP t1_iy0tr0g wrote

Look on Google Images ‘Nikon P1000 Saturn’ or ‘Nikon P1000 Jupiter’ etc… Once you stack hundreds and hundreds of frames, the pictures turn out great!


TrailWhale t1_iy1vk52 wrote

I thought the same thing, assuming most superzoom cameras were generally in the 10-15x zoom range so maybe 400mm tops. Then I looked up the P1000, turns out that thing is a absolute beast with a 24-3000mm zoom. I believe it now.