The following is the interaction between Team SciLynk and Ayushi Kesarwani, a CA student from Baddi, Himachal Pradesh and a participant in the astronomy and astrophotography workshop organized by SciLynk last year, namely, the Night Sky Through Your Lens (NSTYL) Workshop.
What was your experience while capturing and processing your images?
While I am under the dark sky or just an evening sky, my experience while capturing several constellations, planets, sun or moon is simply wholesome and divine. It feels so great to realize that we are under such a magnificent sky full of so many bright shining objects created by the Lord.
Talking about specifics of my astrophotography, I’ve used the pro mode in my smartphone (MIA3) to capture all the pictures shown in my presentation.
The settings for capturing STARS and PLANETS (shining like stars) were – ISO: 100, Shutter speed: 32 sec, Focus: Infinity.
For the MOON, it was – ISO: 100, Shutter speed: 1/125 sec or 1/500 sec (as per the moon’s brightness).
FOR STAR TRAILS, I used intervalometer with – ISO: 100, Shutter speed: 32 sec, Focus: infinity, Intervalometer settings: interval of 35 seconds.
Why did you choose these particular objects to observe through your lens?
I’ve tried many objects in the evening and night sky as a subject of my astrophotography as every day I come to know about new things and each thing makes me curious and excited. So I note them down in my “wishlist” to capture and when the weather is suitable, I try to look for that particular shot or any Constellation or the planet.
How were you first introduced to Astrophotography and night sky observation?
I am unable to recall exactly how it all begun. But I remember that one day I landed upon Stellarium web and I researched about it. I explored the web version first and then thought to have it in my phone.
Then I thought to just try it once. So I went outside my home and located ORION for the first time (in February 2021). I captured it using the settings I learnt from several YouTube videos and when I noted that I can see ORION in my photograph, that very moment was captivating for me.
And that’s when I moved forward with the idea of capturing Constellations. And everything else followed.
Can you explain the scientific value of your photographs in brief?
I’ve used sevaral images in my presentation (watch the video attached below in the article) such as
Constellations: These are the group of stars, looking like a particular shape. While capturing sun and moon, I noted that there’s a specific Constellation in their background that’s accompanying along with it.
And I came to know in SciLynk’s Night Sky class (NSTYL workshop), that these are zodiac Constellations, that accompany the sun for about 30 days.
Asterism: These are certain patterns made up of few stars. The prominent asterism visible to naked eye is The Big Dipper.
Planets: In the month of June- July, you can notice the planet Venus shining bright in the west direction after sunset. At the same time, Jupiter and Saturn rise towards the South-East direction early (around 1 am).
Star trails: Individual stars in longer exposure creates star trails, showing the rotation of earth.
Moon phases: While capturing phases of moon, I realised that the moon rises an hour later than the previous day.
Sun’s disc during sunset: The sun is the nearest star situated at the center of solar system. It’s disc captured through my phone appeared to be orangish red.
What are the astronomy clubs or organizations you are or want to be a part of in the near future?
As of now, I am only associated with Scilynk and Astrophotography India (API) group on Telegram.
In the future, if I get an opportunity to showcase my smartphone astrophotography, I would be more than grateful.
Akshat Mishra is a Physics Undergraduate at Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences, Mumbai. He feels the need to explore the depths of the not-so-dark universe while at the same time watch the quanta in action. Electronic Music is what puts him in the thinking zone.