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S23 Ultra Beehive Star Cluster M44

(Topic created on: 03-14-2024 10:37 AM)
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MitchG
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Starry night photos with the S23 Ultra:.
This amazing smartphone with its astromode (mulitimage stacking over 4 mins) is a very nice way to capture and learn your way around the starry skies.
For example. this beautiful open star cluster, the Beehive aka Praesepe aka M44, was first resolved into a star cluster by Galileo in 1610 with his very modest telescope. He demonstrated that what appeared by eye to be a faint smudge of diffuse light actually contained more than 40 stars (which are easily seen on the S23 photo with its tiny ~ 4mm diam lens). In fact, it contains over 500 gravitationally bound stars (although only ~ 50 are visible with smaller instruments) moving in the same direction .. and one of the closest to us in our Milky Way galaxy (~ 500 light years). It is a striking sight in even small binoculars and extends over 1° in diam (twice the diameter of the full moon). To the naked eye it appears as a faint smudge of light in a dark sky. The first photo below shows a typical wide view of the late-winter sky in Canada. The Beehive is circled in the upper left. The 2 zoomed in photos are 4 min "astro-mode" exposures with a Samsung S23 camera at x3 and x14 zoom showing the brightest stars in the cluster 🌟
(the last image below is a screenshot from the star atlas map Stellarium Mobile Plus for Android).

To take pinpoint sharp star photos within the limitations of a smartphone capability in Pro or Astromode requires that the manual focus be adjusted carefully .. and on a (modest) tripod. Trial and error and patience are key. Hopefully Samsung will improve the focus-adjust slider (very finicky) to something like the improved dial indicators now included in the Photoeditor adjustments for light parameters.

Photo details for the shots below (with original hi-res photos) are in the top Beehive article on this web page with other articles on star shots taken over the past 6 months with the S23 Ultra:

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