Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ceres and Vesta Movement in 24 Hours Animated GIF

I'm so totally pumped! I wanted to create an animation showing the movement of asteroids Ceres and Vesta. I lucked out and got 2 clear nights in a row with Ceres and Vesta in the same frame! I toggled back and forth in Photoshop to create a 2 frame animated GIF of their change in position.

ceres and vesta movement in 24 hours animated gif
Stack of images from fixed tripod on consecutive nights
ISO 6400, 300mm, f/5.6, 1.3 sec

There they go! Sailing through the night sky! I'm so pleased with how this came out, particularly because it took so much work to make. Each frame is a series of exposures stacked in Deep Sky Stacker (27 frames and 16 frames respectively). The sky was in a slightly different position, so I had to rotate to align the 'fixed' background stars, add arrows and labels, and animate it.

Any apparent movement in background stars is a result of me not aligning the images precisely - although the stars are moving relative to each other ever so slightly, there's no way my camera would detect the tiny movements in 24 hours (or even hundreds of years for that matter).

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