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


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!


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.


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!


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!!!