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Nuri TLV at T+34s - soaring into space with "대한민국" (Republic of Korea) on the right-hand side
Republic of Korea (South Korea) has been developing a fully indigenous launch vehicle called Nuri, also known as KSLV-II, after the joint development of KSLV-I (Naro) with Russia was complete five years ago. The key piece of this technology is the KARI 75-Ton rocket engine, of which four of them would be used on the first stage and one on the second stage. To see that the engine actually can launch itself, a single-engine single-stage version of the rocket, called TLV (Test Launch Vehicle) was created. It was launched successfully today at 16:00 sharp, Korean Standard Time, and I was able to record it fully, as you can see here.
Watching the launch from across the sea with Nikon P1000 set to maximum zoom
Originally slated for October 25, the launch was delayed to today, November 28, 2018. But I was still able to take half a day off from work to see this for myself. I headed to a nice lookout spot in Naenaro Island, only about 7km from the launch site, which was not quite as obscure as I initially thought - there were already dozens of people there when I arrived, including a TV crew. Luckily, there was still a spot for me to set up my Nikon P1000 camera for observation and recording.
The distance was too far for the naked eye to properly see the rocket. Only the fiery dot could be seen rising up to the sky. But the P1000's powerful zoom was more than good enough to capture the sight in its full glory. I was able to track the rocket with relative ease using the Olympus EE-1 dot sight attached to the camera. For the full video recording, see below.
For some more frame captures, please read on.
Nikon CoolPix P1000 observes the Sun next to Celestron NexStar 6SE telescope
Encouraged with the results from the previous observation, I took the Nikon P1000 outside during the day to take the photos of the ISS crossing in front of the Sun. Last time I was able to see the transit at home was three and a half years ago. I also got my Celestron telescope out as a backup in case any one of the equipment failed to record the phenomenon. The camera needed a solar filter like the telescope, so I bought an ND100000 glass filter online for US$40 that provided the same amount of light reduction.
Full-resolution composite of the ISS passing in front of the Sun on November 3, 2018 (click for the full photo)
Although the P1000 has burst mode, it can only take seven photos in a span of a second. The window of opportunity was too narrow, so instead of taking the risk I used the 4K 30fps video capability instead. It would sacrifice image quality, but I was sure to get the shot if the frame and focus were right. And sure enough, the transit was captured successfully as you see above.
Stacked image of the ISS shows the details
The result may not be not quite as sharp as using a telescope, but much of the features of the space station were distinguishable. Perhaps I should try the burst mode the next time I get the opportunity to see if that makes a difference.
Device: Nikon P1000
Settings: 3000mm - ISO 400 - 1/500s - f/8
Filters: ICE N100000 (Neutral Density 16.5 Stop)
Time: 2018-11-03 10:48:02 KST
Location: Naju, Korea
17 photos processed with Pixelmator and RegiStax 18.104.22.168
Next target I've been eyeing to take some photos of using the powerful zoom provided by the Nikon CoolPix P1000 camera was the International Space Station. Although it's a fast-moving target, I have experience with other equipment and the P1000's zoom should be sufficient enough to let me distinguish major features under ideal conditions, similar to the photos I took using a telescope. One such pass happened on October 26, coming in as close as 410km, but the thick clouds prevented me from taking the shots. Luckily, a slightly worse backup opportunity (closest approach of 572km) happened just a day after and I made the best of it - what you see above is the result.
As it was the case with SX50 HS, tracking the station is nearly impossible with just the integrated screens on the camera. So I enlisted the help of an iPhone mounted on the camera's hot shoe. It was very effective and I was able to take an unbroken sequence of the space station for more than a minute, until it went out of my view. If you want to see the whole thing, watch the video below. I think it was good for a first try with a new camera. More opportunities are to follow in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.
Device: Nikon P1000
Settings: 3000mm - ISO 100 - 1/320s - f/8
Time: 2018-10-27 05:29-05:31 KST
Location: Naju, Korea
78 photos processed with PIPP 2.5.9 and RegiStax 22.214.171.124
Saturn and Mars on October 19, 2018
I'm getting the hang of photographing the planets with P1000 after some practice. Jupiter sets below the horizon too early these days, so I targeted Saturn and Mars. Using the Moon as the reference for the manual focus (actual setting seems to vary up to ten dial ticks by the daily conditions) and turning off the vibration reduction (better to let the tripod stabilize on its own), I was able to take several photos for processing. Discernible in the results are the prominent differences in the surface colours of Mars, as well as the Cassini Division on the rings of Saturn.
Device: Nikon P1000
Settings: 3000mm - (Saturn: ISO 200 - 1/40s / Mars: ISO 100 - 1/160s) - f/8
Time: 2018-10-19 (Saturn: 19:15 / Mars: 20:50) KST
Location: Naju, Korea
(Saturn: 9 / Mars: 11) photos processed with PIPP 2.5.9 and RegiStax 126.96.36.199