When trying to get some nightime skyscape images from a beach on Sanibel Island in Florida, I slowly became aware of a diffuse light brightening the sky behind the clouds. It took me a while to convince myself it was real, but when my eyes adjusted to the darkness I became more and more convinced that it was. At first I couldn’t make sense of it at all – for a moment I was just thinking, it surely isn’t an aurora as it was in the south-west sky.
Only when I reviewed the images on the camera display I realized that this is the zodiacal light. I found this quite amazing, as at the latitude where I live it is only visible in autumn and spring. In Florida which is much closer to the equator it is also visible in winter due to the high angle of the ecliptic with the horizon.
Two-Panel mosaic showing the Zodiacal light and Milky way over the Gulf of Mexico, Image taken on Sanibel Island, Florida, 30s, f/3.5, ISO 3200, Samyang 14mm, Nkon D750
Today I got up at 4:30 to drive up to the Bödele, a nearby mountain pass. Luckily the weather predictions was right and the sky turned out to be very clear.
Again I used the 70-200mm zoom lens at 200mm, the Vixen Polarie was used for tracking.
This morning I grabbed the camera and mount and headed right up to the roof before breakfast. My socks were freezing on the hoarfrost, and it was quite cold in my T-Shirt, but then while the camera was happily snapping away at Comet Catalina I was comfortably eating breakfast.
This is a crop from the original image, 27 individual frames were combined using Andreas Roerig’s software Regim, additional processing was done in Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.
On December 11th I updated the images, as I found out the de-bayering in Regim was configured wrong, also I applied different settings for gradient removal, resulting in a background with less artefacts, I also included 10 more frames for a total of 27 sub-exposures.
In the inverted version the visible tail is 4,4° long.
Astrophotography Lens Test
A test of wide-angle lenses for astrophotography on FX format. The shots were taken from suburban conditions, the camera was mounted on a static tripod without guiding. The left image is always the full frame, the middle one is the center, and the right one is the upper left corner of the image. Read More
Even when the moon is almost full (95% in this case) there are interesting features to be found near the terminator:
23rd October 2015
127mm f/8 AP refractor, Televue 3x Barlow, QHY5L-II color CMOS camera, stacked in Autostakkert, processing in Photoshop.
In October 2015 four planets line up in the morning sky for a very beautiful display. Mercury is hidden below the horizon in this picture. Read More
The September 28th total lunar eclipse was very impressive, as it turned out to be a very dark one, and for once, it happened in a perfectly clear sky.
After bad weather in August yesterday the sky was good enough for half a night of observing and photography Read More