Summer is not the perfect time for astrophotography. As I write now, I look outside to a gloomy, absolutely overcast sky, with not a single inch of blue.

Apparently, monsoon has already arrived in Kolkata.

Rain is an astrophotographer’s best friend, but quite ironically, the “production factory” of this friend is a fiend. 

Therefore, when you see clouds, you should be ready to expect rain. It brings down all the dust in the air that will distort your astrophotography, by affecting atmospheric seeing. It also cools down the atmosphere, thus minimizing chances of convection currents distorting the light travelling from the sky to the lens of your camera.

That’s a pretty picture. But as I had made mention of earlier, if the “production factory” of rain doesn’t do a favour by taking itself off, you’ll be damned. The atmosphere would be the best you can imagine, yet the sky would be covered with a thick blanket of clouds.

I have often been in such a situation recently. We have had the cleansing rain often, the atmosphere was at its best, yet the sky was covered with those damn clouds.

Image Credit: Sagnik Sarkar (CC-BY-SA)

I was waiting, frustrated. Waiting for the friend to stay, and the fiend to go away. It happened 4 hours before the face-off between Germany and Argentina in Estadio Do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

As you might have been aware of, I am absolutely horrible with identifying summer constellations. So, here’s the annotated version of the same from

The annotated version of the same. Created at Click on the photo to see more details about the astrometry.
The Field of View (FOV) of my image. Created at

It’s time. Time for the juice which seems like a paradise to some, absolutely bitter to many. The Technical Details. 

Date: July 13, 2014
Time: 21:18 IST (15:48 UTC)

Camera Metadata
Model: Sony NEX-3
Focal Length: 18 mm
Focal Ratio: f/3.5
ISO: 200
Exposure: 30 seconds

Calibration Frames
Dark Frames: 30 seconds, 20 seconds, 10 seconds
Bias Frames: 1/10 second, 1/20 second, 1/30 second

Post Processing
Calibration: DeepSkyStacker
Histogram Stretching: Adobe Photoshop 
Final Touches: Adobe Lightroom

Probably upon seeing me publicly acknowledge my friend, he has come to me. It’s raining outside.