Hunting Neptune

 Back in the day, and I mean starting around the turn of last century, you'd hunt for planets by taking photos through your telescope days or weeks apart, and then comparing the two plates. 

Today I proved to myself that I have photographed Neptune from my front garden.

This evening, I took this shot with my DwarfII - 10x15s exposures, stacked, and filtered to make everything cyan. In theory, somewhere in this image is Neptune. Good luck working out where.

Cyan tinted star scape. Somewhere, Neptune is lurking.

Last week, I did the same thing, but I tinted this one yellow.
Yellow star scape. Neptune still hiding.

Next, I composited them in Snapseed, and played with the opacity slider.

Can you see Neptune now?

Here are the two locations highlighted
Neptune in two locations, circled

Two very cool things about this.

One, I did this with a telescope the size of a 1L UHT carton from my garden in the middle of suburbia!

Two, it clearly shows how planets got their name - from the Greek planētēs meaning 'wanderer', referring to the way the move about compared to the stars, which are fixed relative to each other.


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