This Article is From May 19, 2021

"50,000 Photos, Took 40 Hours": How Pune Boy Captured This Viral Moon Pic

Viral Moon Image: The 16-year-old said he learnt image compositing technique on YouTube, adds he wants to become an astrophysicist

'50,000 Photos, Took 40 Hours': How Pune Boy Captured This Viral Moon Pic

Viral Moon Photo: Prathamesh Jaju used a technique called 'image compositing'.


The 16-year-old boy from Pune, who became an internet sensation as he shared the clearest pictures of the last quarter mineral Moon, said it took him nearly 40 hours to process the 50,000 photos he had clicked, and give the final 3-dimensional version of the celestial body.

Prathamesh Jaju describes himself as an amateur astronomer. He learnt the craft of stitching together a number of images by watching YouTube videos. He says he wants to become an astrophysicist and study the universe.

Speaking to ANI, Mr Jaju said the reason behind clicking so many photographs of the Moon was to get its most detailed view. He explained how he created the stunning photo.

“Raw data was 100GB. When you process it, data gets bigger. So, it was around 186GB. When I stitched them together, the final file was around 600MB," he said.

He used a technique called 'image compositing' to combine the visual elements from those thousands of photographs into a single image.

"The image is an HDR composite of two different images made to give it a 3-dimensional effect. This is my most detailed and clearest shot of the third quarter mineral moon," he added.

Mr Jaju captured the image on May 3 at 1 am. “It took 38 to 40 hours for processing. The reason behind taking 50,000 pictures was to get the clearest picture of the Moon,” he said.

At one point, he also feared that processing such huge data would kill his laptop. As the final image was 600MB, he had to downgrade it for viewing on mobile devices.

Mr Jaju had posted the image of the mineral moon on his Instagram account. The high-resolution image clearly shows the lunar craters. The brown and bluish-grey tones of the Moon depict the different mineral compositions on the lunar surface.

“Astrophotography is just a hobby for me right now," Mr Jaju says, adding he wants to pursue it professionally.

The last quarter Moon appears half-lit by sunshine and half-immersed in its own shadow. From Earth, we see the Moon half-lit. Also, called the third-quarter Moon, it rises in the middle of the night, appears at its highest in the sky around dawn, and sets around midday.