On March 29, Saturn and the moon lined up so closely in an astronomical event called the conjunction, that they looked as if they were touching each other.
Grant Petersen, an astrophotographer, somehow managed to capture the moment in a stunning picture using just a smartphone mounted to a telescope. He snapped the timely image while based in Johannesburg, South Africa and shared it on Twitter so the world could enjoy it with him.
Petersen is very proud of his capture, celebrating it on Twitter with the caption, “Nothing gonna get me off this astronomy high.”
Unlike what it seems, the image is actually a mash-up of several images depicting Saturn in the moments before it slipped behind the moon. They were processed using a technique known as stacking, which involves combining lower-quality pictures into higher-resolution photographs.
Petersen got up really early at 4am, two hours before the event, to test his set-up, which comprised of an eight-inch Dobsonian (a relatively cheap yet large and powerful telescope), a Galaxy S8 smartphone, an adapter to connect it to a lens, and an eyepiece, according to INSIDER.
Petersen will be capturing the transit of Mercury across the sun on 11 November, if all goes according to plan.
That was frickin spectacular. This mornings #Moon #Saturn #Occultation at ingress from #Johannesburg captured with a #GalaxyS8 7mm eyepiece 2 x Barlow and 8″ Sky-watcher dobsonian telescope. 5 sec vid run through PIPP and stacked with registax #Smartphone #astrophotography pic.twitter.com/H8sSirrS2Z
— GrantPetersen (@GP_O11) March 29, 2019
#Saturn | A photographer captured pictures of Saturn ‘touching’ the moon with his smartphone, and the shots are stunninghttps://t.co/mGiYR1qdWd pic.twitter.com/jvkpp76azZ
— Business Insider India🇮🇳 (@BiIndia) April 25, 2019
[via INSIDER, cover image via Shutterstock] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/404447/Saturn-The-Moon-Touch-In-Astounding-Space-Image-Taken-By-A-Samsung-Phone/