[Starry Story] Avinash Patil (India)
[Starry Story] Avinash (India)
Hi All, my name is Avinash Patil, I am 36 years old amateur Astrophotographer from Mumbai, India. By profession I am an IT Professional, currently working as a technical manager with one of the French MNCs.
How my Astro journey started
When I was little, we used to go to my natives (bortle 2 region) every summer and we would often sleep on roof top of my grandparent’s house under the starry skies. I used to look at the sea of stars and it always made me wonder what are those blinky, shiny dots and I often would ask questions to my grandfather. He used to tell me whatever he knew and lots of stories and many not so true stories. I wasn’t surrounded by many well educated people that’s why I never got satisfactory answers about night skies, but it always made me wonder and admire beauty of night sky.
When I was in 5th grade, we had a chapter called Solar system in science and that’s when I realized the reality of actual universe. It really changed my perspective of the world. I was under impression there is Heaven, Earth and Hell but after learning about solar system, it really changed my perspective of the world and universe. Since then, wherever I could find information about physics and astronomy I used to read and learn. While growing up I got access to TV with science channels like Discovery and National Geography. Whenever there used to be shows about astronomy It would make me very excited to know the reality of grand scale of the beautiful universe. I used to leave everything aside and I would watch those shows. And then access to internet and sea of information it provided really answered some of my big questions. After that point I started building massive interest into astronomy and eventually astrophotography.
In 2019 I saw a video on YouTube, some amateur astronomer was using his telescope and he was looking at Jupiter, Saturn and moon and till that time I wasn’t sure if I can afford telescope and after little bit of internet research about telescopes and types of telescopes, I ordered my first 130/650 reflector telescope with equatorial mount. In 2020 I ordered 10” dobsonion to get better views of planets and some of the galaxies. Once my dobsonian arrived I clicked not so great pictures of Jupiter and Saturn using my cell phone and that day I decided to learn more about astrophotography to produce decent images of space. Then I started my research and saving for a year and in 2021 I got my astrophotography gear. As I took very long time to get all the information required, on very first day I was able to get pinpoint starts and perfect guiding.
My current astrophotography gears
In past one year I was able to produce 14 images of deep sky objects and moon and then Monsoon arrived. I hope to produce even better images this season as I have ordered and received my first monochrome camera, Electronic Filter Wheel, Electronic Auto Focuser and Optolong 3nm SHO filters is on the way, hopefully I will receive it soon. Equipment I currently own and I will own in near future for astrophotography is as following.
OTAs: William Optics GT71 with 0.8x Field Flattener/Reducer and GSO RC6 with 0.75x reducer
Mount: iOpron CEM26
Imaging Cameras: ZWO ASI183MC Pro ZWO ASI533MM Pro
Guide Scopes: William Optics 32mm and William Optics 50mm
Guide Camera: ZWO ASI120MM Mini
Electronic Auto Focuser: ZWO EAF
Electronic Filter Wheel: ZWO EFW 7x36mm
Filter Drawer: ZWO Filter Drawer
Filters: Optolong L-Extream, Optolong L-Pro, Optolong 3nm Hydrogen Alpha 36mm, Optolong 3nm Oxyzen III 36mm, Optolong 3nm Sulphur II 36mm and ZWO UV/IR cut filter and Optolong LRGB filters
My Experience with Optolong Filters
So far, I have used only Optolong L-Extream and Optolong L-Pro in all my images. I have always shot from Bortle 5 to Bortel 9 skies with these excellent filters, without these amazing budget friendly filters my hobby would have been died long back. I could produce decent images just because I owned these light pollution filters. I was so satisfied with these filters I ordered Optolong’s 3nm HA, OIII and SII filters (Thanks to my loving wife Kanchan for sponsoring these filters). After monsoon I hope to capture even better images with my new 3nm SHO filters and my 1st monochrome camera from bortle 9 skies.
My first Telescope while watching moon with my 7 month old daughter
My 10” Explore Scientific Dobsonian
Wide field set up Wiliam Optics GT71 and GSO RC6 for more reach.
Most of my Astronomy/Astrophotography gears.
Andromeda Galaxy (M31)
Pleiades Star Cluster (M45)
Orion and Running Man Nebula (M42 & M43) (My 1st deep sky object Image)
My Take on Rosset Nebula (NGC2244) (I processed it pink to dedicate this beautiful cosmic rose to my beautiful wife for supporting this expensive hobby)
Christmas Tree Nebula (NGC2264) True Colour (Left) & Hubble Palate (Right)
Leo Triplets (M66)
Bord & Cigar Galaxy (M81 & M82)