Sunday, 24 August 2014

Milky Way - 1st Anniversary

One year has passed since my first approach to the astrophotography and the night sky photographs. It was a picture of the Milky Way, a picture that I always wanted to perform and that seemed so out of reach for me back in that day. I couldn't find a better photo to remember that day that to give another try to that target and check how much my technique and abilities improved during this year.

Taking advantage of a visit to my grandparents house in the rural Galicia, I set the equipment pointing towards Sagitarius and Scorpio, the two constellations that frame the core of our galaxy  and then  I started the shoot. I must say that the Milky Way was shinning over my head as this area has very little light pollution so it was quite easy to frame. 

The cool thing about this photo is that the light dome shown at the bottom of the picture is the city of Santiago (St James) destination of the pilgrims doing the "Camino de Santiago" (Way of St. James). This path, according to the Christians, leads to the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain but, before them, the romans already knew this path towards the "End of the World", Finisterrae. They followed the Milky Way and this area was the westernmost piece of land before the atlantic ocean. Thus the way of St James is also known as "Voie lactée" – the Milky Way in French.

The shot is composed by 8 lights of 150" ISO 800, 4 darks and 4 bias (with more lights the detaild would've been better) with the Nikon D3100 and the kit lens 18-55mm f3,5-5,6 at 18mm f4 tracked with the HEQ-5 and processed with DSS, StarTools and Photoshop.


The annotated image showing the main constellations in this area:

And finally, the evolution of one year:

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