16-Year-Old Aspiring Indian Astrophysicist Captures the Clearest Moon Photograph, Ever!
Looking at Moon somehow draws one towards its magnetic charm – leaving you in complete awe when in its full bloom. 16-year-old Prathamesh Jaju, from Pune, Maharashtra has evoked a never seen charismatic beauty of the Moon with one of the best (if not the best) photographs of the celestial body – captured on May 3, at 1 AM (IST).
Prathamesh used the HDR composite technique to stitch a mosaic of different images to create the final photograph he likes to call the Last Quarter Mineral HDR Moon Composite. The aspiring astrophysicist learned the technique on YouTube, and now he has the netizens in complete awe of the last quarter mineral Moon.
It took the young boy almost 40 hours to process the 50,000 photos – resulting in the final 3D image which is 600MB in size. All the raw data was 100GB in total, and the processed files weighed a whopping 186GB. Shooting the photograph took him around four hours and the post-processing took a whole three days to complete.
The lunar craters are clearly visible in the photograph, as well as the brown and blue hues of the mineral compositions. These tones are a result of the illumination at a particular angle by sunlight; virtually making the Moon half-lit on one side and basked by shadow on the other.
The creative student has a passion for space and astronomy – not to mention he is an avid Star Trek and Star Wars fan. Since his class X exams were cancelled due to the impending pandemic, he ventured out to learn more about his passion. Having a telescope was another advantage, and he used it well to click the mesmerizing shot of Moon.
At 13-years of age, his curiosity for space and astronomy motivated him to join the Jyotirvidya Parisanstha (JVP) club in Pune. Yes, the country’s oldest amateur astronomy clubs. From there began his journey in astronomy, astrography and star-gazing!