#327. The night of the Shutaklunk UFO ! True story

By pascaljappy | Opinion

Feb 21

A few weeks ago, some readers called me names when I explained how to prepare for 3 days of darkness! It hurt, but today, I am vindicated. We are not alone and solar storms that send debris to cloud over the Earth are for real. I have photographed both.

The Pleiades, pictured with a Zeiss OTUS 85/1.4 and a Sony A7r

The Pleaiades, pictured with a Zeiss OTUS 85/1.4 and a Sony A7r (16 frame stack)

So, I’m out in the garden at freeze-o-clock trying to make a Susan-worthy photograph of the Pleiades cluster (above) with the Zeiss OTUS 85/1.4 but no motorized mount. Having realized 10 seconds was too long an exposure (star trails looked ugly and nebulosity was blown), I settled for 2.5, used the self timer and grabbed 60 frames until the clouds started to roll-in. I’d stack them later.

Imagine my surprise when individual frames revealed this !

Wave3And this


And thisWave 2

And thisWave1

Planes fly in a straight line. So do satellites. There’s only one logical explanation for this : UFOs shaking from gravitational force due to exiting hyperspace too close to Earth.

And that’s not all. The weird colours changing from frame to frame is the solar debris rotating in our atmosphere in a Fibonacci spiral. Why are other stars not affected ? Because they have shields. I have a photo of that too ! Click to enlarge this photo and look around all the stars. All have them !Colour-boxes

Astounding, right ?!

Of course, it may also be that the individual frames (all made using a timer, on a very sturdy tripod and Arca-Swiss head, with no wind) saw their world rocked by a very clunky A7r shutter … It physically does that to my ears, it would not surprise me if it shook satellites off their orbits (or at least the camera for a few seconds).

And it’s quite possible that my struggle to get white balance right is painfully apparent in all the satellite subframes 😉 For info: the brown-looking photos are what the 12,800 ISO frames looked like at 100%, SOOC. When you see the finished photo, at top, you realise how far image processing software has come!

As for the black boxes surrounding all of the stars ? Do enlarge that picture. If you have an explanation, I’m interested to hear it. In all likelihood an artefact from the Sony processing engine, but I’m really not sure. Any takers ?

About the OTUS. Take a look at the first wobbly-trail photo. That’s 100% from the top right corner. You can detect minor coma. And there was a bit of purple fringing on the brightest stars. That’s it. Astrophotography is a very harsh test for any lens and the OTUS comes out with flying colours. Its focus is so snappy that I never had to check focus on test pictures and always relied on what the stars looked like through the EVF to nail focus every time.

I’ve been an astro observer for many years, but this is more or less my maiden voyage as far as astrophotography is concerned. And the learning curve is steep. But the bug has bitten and I will report on my progress in future posts. I’ll leave you with the easiest of astro pics : our lovely moon. Not bad for 85mm of focal length, don’t you think ?

The Moon, imaged with a Sony A7r and Zeiss OTUS 85/1.4

The Moon, imaged with a Sony A7r and Zeis OTUS 85/1.4


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  • Luca says:

    Come on Pascal, don’t you recognize the Tardis re-entering the atmosphere (and probably directed to London…) when you see it? And the black boxes around the stars are obviously some kind of shield put by the good Doctor against some Dalek invasion!* 😉

    *I really really hope you’re a Doctor Who viewer, otherwise you’ll call the cops to send me to the looney bin!

    • pascaljappy says:

      It takes a looney to know a looney 😉 I actually quite like the Tardis hypothesis. It would explain why the shields are square-shaped, not spherical, as interstellar logic dictates! Thanks Luca 😉

  • Jonathan says:

    Looks like an airplane or satellite passing by, picking up camera vibration as it passes. The vibrations are not always visible in the stars because they are very brief. In the one example where the squiggles are a bit stronger, there is noticeable smearing of the stars in the same direction.

    • pascaljappy says:

      Hi Jonathan, that’s also my analysis (satellites). I think it must be the shutter as the camera is on a strong tripod and there was no wind. The surprising thing is that some seem to dampen quickly whereas others resonate longer. Strange. It’s surprising how many satellites are out there! Even “short” exposures pick up quite a few of them.

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