Pune, May 21
A 16-year-old amateur astro- photographer from Pune has captured over 50,000 images of the moon and ultimately pieced them together to create a detailed image of the earth's only natural satellite.
Prathamesh Jaju is associated with Jyotirvidya Parisanstha (JVP), one of the oldest astronomy clubs in the country, where he learned about basic astrophotography over the last three to four years.
Jaju, a Class 10 student, said he was finally able to take the time to do the project earlier this month, after his board exams were cancelled amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
It took him around five hours to capture the moon using his telescope and camera, and another 40 hours to process the image using different editing softwares.
Many may wonder why he had to take 50,000 images and not a single shot, Jaju said.
"Often single images get pixelated and blurred when we zoom into them. To avoid that I used a mosaic technique, which in layman's terms is called panoramic photography," the teen explains.
Using huge magnifications, Jaju captured multiple videos of the moon, in which small craters were also captured.
"I shot around 38 videos of the moon. From each video, which was around a minute long, I could get around 2,000 images. From each video, one image was generated by merging all the images. So, from over 50,000 shortlisted images of 38 videos, I got 38 different frames (panels)," he said.
The 38 frames were stitched together to create a detailed and clear image of the full panoramic moon, said the student of Vidya Bhavan High School here.
The image is so clear that one could zoom in as much as he wants without losing the details, " Jaju claimed.
Meanwhile, JVP's vice-president Aniruddha Deshpande said Jaju has been a member of the organisation for a long time and has developed a good interest in astrophotography.
The image created by Jaju also holds scientific value, as different colours seen in the picture indicate mineral deposits on the lunar surface, Deshpande added. PTI
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