Going Deep With: Canon 1100 d(a), Vixen Polarie And PixInsight

Since about one year now, I got those deep sky images lying on my hard drive, which I took back then while traveling the East Coast of Australia in August 2013. All I could do was processing the single images via Lightroom and even making mosaics via Hugin software. The results have been satisfying, but I knew there must be more to it. So I got myself PixInsight (http://pixinsight.com), a special software for processing deep sky images, and most important to me, it also runs on a Mac. Taking images is one thing, but processing them (to me) is much more complex. So I got myself that miraculous piece of software, but could´t work with properly until my Austrian based friend Bernd Weinzierl got to my aid. Make sure you take a look at his stuff at: http://innerberg-astro.lima-city.de/index.html. We did some sort of joint-venture then; Bernd processed my images with PixInsight and the result almost blew my mind. Never before had I dreamed about making such MilkyWay shots myself – until now. Makes me want to head back to Australia right now and shoot the hell out of it while the center of our home galaxy is still at the zenith – a paradise for deep-sky-imaging. But for now, I got enough stuff already to process to, not speaking about the mosaics possible now…stay tuned. All you need for doing this is: a modified camera like the Canon 1100 d, a startracking device like the Vixen Polarie, a sturdy (carbon) tripod, two ballheads, an intervalometer, a fast lens (f2.8 or less) and of course clear skies. And most of all, someone who can operate the complex PixInsight software. Once you are into it, new dimensions will unfold – the stars are yours! Enjoy!

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Original Raw-file: 119 sec., f 3.5, Iso 1600 @ 20mm…looking right at the center of our home galaxy, the Milkyway…Scorpio to the left, Sagittarius to the right…including star clusters and hydrogen-alpha nebulae…

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Processed Raw-file via Lightroom 5 only…

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Screenshot: eleven images, stacked with PixInsight…

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Final outcome, done with PixInsight and CS5 by Bernd Weinzierl…high-res image can be seen here: http://innerberg-astro.lima-city.de/Bilder%20gross/Widefields/Milchstrassenzentrum.jpg

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“Life is like a camera. Focus on what is important. Capture the good times. Develop from the negatives. And if things don´t turn out, take another shot.”

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Having Fun With: My Kids, The Crescent Moon & The Olight SR 95

Unexpectedly, the skies cleared up tonight and what better to do than catching my kids and heading to a spot which looked promisingly good for aligning with the Crescent Moon. TPE (http://photoephemeris.com) confirmed my speculations and we were right on spot for the setting Crescent Moon. What better than spending such moments with your loved ones? Helena (9) was wearing one of my hoodies (from Australia) and Jakob (10) was wearing his bathrobe…while I was managing the incredible Olight SR 95 (http://olightworld.com/product/sr95-intimidator/), a flashlight of it´s own…Enjoy!

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The Crescent Moon @ the chapel, illuminated from some 400 m afar…

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Having fun @ twilight…

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The setting Crescent Moon, Feat. Arcturus (top right)…

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Another Night Out – With The Polarie

Haven´t used the Vixen Polarie since almost one year now, everything what is needed to use that star tracking device fell into place last night. The high towering MilkyWay, a nice foreground and a starry night two days before New Moon got me going. For the first time since six month, I have spent the whole night out, first catching the MilkyWay and later on waiting for the Crescent Moon to rise over my old home turf. What a night to remember…watching the MilkyWay and Andromeda Galaxy, the conjunction of Mercury, Venus and the Moon, the ISS flying by (with Germany´s own Alexander Gerst), and the change of colors during the different times of twilight in the morning. But most of all: feeling the serenity and silence of the night again, feeling being one with the universe. Like Neville said: ” The world is an ocean of liquid light in countless different states of crystallization.” Enjoy!

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Prunn Castle, MilkyWay & Andromeda…

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Prunn Castle, MilkyWay & Andromeda, with Canon 1100d (a) and Polarie, with some faint Air Glow…

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Crescent Moon rising above my “home” church”…

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Crescent Moon rising two days before New Moon…

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Venus to the left joining the show…

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ISS on the way or how to build a triangle…

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Mercury (lower left), Venus (center) and Crescent Moon at the end of nautical twilight…

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The Dish: CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope, NSW, Australia

While touring Australia last summer, we had the chance to stop by the CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope (http://www.parkes.atnf.csiro.au) in early September, located some 400 km west of Sydney.

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Where the hell is Dubbo….?

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Visiting times vice-versa would be cool…

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Here we are…

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Some facts…

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Did you know…?

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I did not…

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This image is a combination of two different images, from two different places…the foreground, Parkes Radio Telescope, taken at daytime, and the background, star trails, taken somewhere between Lightning Ridge and Roma, on the way down to Parkes. Since it is not allowed to stay at this place at nights, that´s been my only chance to get an image I had pre visualized before I got there. Some sort of marriage of heaven and earth, or of celestial and terrestrial ´objects`. Did I ever mentioned before that I Love Australia…?! Enjoy!

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Silenced

Just came across a song called ´Silenced` by Uniform Choice the other day. Very unusual to their other stuff, this is just a spoken word song. Though not fully understanding the lyrics from the first time hearing, it have sent shivers down my spine, resonating deep down inside of me…here´s the link to the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gClzSHlxvZA

This is probably why I enjoy the night so much – Silence! Enjoy!

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When there’s silence 
Friends need not speak 
It’s understood 
Die I would 
And when there’s silence 
Cultures appear as one 
Colors are blurred 
My brother I heard 
When there’s silence 
Meanings all seem clear 
Distractions unknown 
Uniformly alone 
And when there’s silence 
Love has no hurt 
Despair cannot live 
Words take I give 
The sound of no sound 
Is the most deafening of all 
The feeling of no feeling 
Is the most painful of all 
And yet we must endure 
For I do now and forever shall 
Love all things that are real 
Even when… silence is broken

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VZ0A5262-650Silence @ Carlo´s Sandblow, Australia, Aug. 2013…

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ISS & German Astronaut Alexander Gerst

Just managed to catch the ISS flying over my turf. Germany´s own, Alexander Gerst is on bord of the ISS since the 28th of May and will stay there for six months. More info here: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_Spaceflight/Blue_dot/Alexander_s_first_week_in_space. Enjoy!

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ISS flying by, 07.06.2014, 00:03-00:08 am, Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany…

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update:

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ISS with Alexander Gerst onboard, 09.06.2014, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Crescent Moon: Three In A Row

I haven´t been able to catch the crescent of the Moon for three times in a row after a New Moon. Must be the new place I´m living at….Again, magic happened and watching the colors changing/shifting during the different times of twilight at night (civilian/nautical/astronomical), is something very special to me. You may notice the change of the colors at the three images…Enjoy!

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First crescent of the Moon after New Moon, 30.05.2014…

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Second crescent of the Moon, joined by Jupiter above, 31.05.2014…

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Third crescent of the Moon, joined by Jupiter to the right, 01.06.2014…

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“You find who you love doing what you love!”

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