My first successful shot of the Milky Way, just an hour and a half west of Tucson at the base of Kitt Peak. After about three hours and about three hundred source images, this appears to be the only one that came out – a composition of thirty-two twelve-second exposures on ISO6400 at f/4.5.
My last attempt in Dublin gave me high expectations, but I was using my “nifty fifty” which opens up all the way to f/1.8 and really screams for a little lens. It’s hard to beat the wide-angle view though that my 10-18mm provides.
Desert astrophotography is great: 80º in the middle of the night, 48% relative humidity, and an amazing sky. It was easy to see the Milky Way with unaided eyesight, but it was nothing more than a cloudy white streak across the horizon above. The ground illumination came purely from our own galaxy while the New Moon hid on the other side of the Earth.
5 thoughts on “Milchstraße”
Reblogged this on Snell Family Adventures and commented:
The first shot is Dublin was enough to get me excited, but take away that moist ocean air and replace it with a dry desert sky and things really start to shape up. Here’s my second attempt at capturing the Milky Way and the first one I consider successful. May many more follow with even more breathtaking views into our amazing home in the universe.
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Gorgeous Galaxy! Did you get to play with your star algorithms on this?
This one worked well with the script I’ve been developing, but I have some new ideas to get me closer to a local point-spread-function-based deconvolution to remove the coma aberrations and other blurs.
Essentially I’m just passing the images into the `align_image_stack` from the Hugin suite two at a time: one frame is the “anchor” frame (the middle picture in the sequence) and the other is the currently-processing image. Then, after they are aligned I add them together.
Recompiling `ImageMagick` to use a 32-bit quantum and to support 32-bit TIFF images has been huge here because now I can just add all the images together then use Photoshop’s tone-mapping to scale the colors down into a 16-bit depth. This 16-bit image looks great and LightRoom rocks at the final touches.
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@engflav: Here is one of the original images – it’s a fairly good representation of how it looked out there with the unaided eye:
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