ISS Double Transit

On the 7th of May 2018, the ISS transited the sun twice from a single place, just a few kilometres away from where I live. The first transit happened at 06:37 am, the second one at 08:12 am. I also could watch the very first flyover at 04:47 am from my room window while getting up in the morning. The image is a composite of a set of still frames, taken from videos of  the two transits. To get the shot, I used https://www.calsky.com and Lightroom and Gimp for processing the image. Enjoy!

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Double transit of the ISS in front of the sun, 05|07|2018…

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Getting ready for the transit, while the Moon is setting to the west…

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The Crescent Moon Of April 2018

In April 2018, I could catch the waxing crescent moon on three consecutive days, due to some high pressure weather – that hasn´t happened for almost four years. Going out three times on a row at night and chosing places to photograph by appearance and not by weather is a very nice treat. Enjoy!

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Crescent Moon and Venus, the day after New Moon, 04|17|2018…

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Like the previous one – above a highway, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Crescent Moon and Venus @ civilian twilight, 04|18|2018, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Crescent Moon and Venus  joined by Aldebaran (upper left), 04|18|2018…

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Orion, Hyades, Moon, Pleiades and Venus (left to right) @ the end of nautical twilight, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Crescent Moon above Isar (river), 04/19/2018, Upper Bavaria, Germany…

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What better than spending a night out…?

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The Upper Isar Valley

Impressions from my latest trip early this week to the Upper Isar Valley, a nature reserve between Vorderriß and Wallgau, Upper Bavaria. A well protected and unique habitat we got here in Germany, one of its kind in whole Central europe. Enjoy!

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Overlooking the wide river valley between Fall and Vorderriß…

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Not much water around at this time of the year…

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Gravel banks are constantly changing…

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A faint solar halo above…

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and some shimmering water below…

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Informationpanel…

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The sun´s going down above the valley…

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and the night falls in, making the brightest stars visible, like Sirius to the left…

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Canis Minor (top left), Canis Major with Sirius (center left) and Orion (center right), and the Wettersteingebirge in the distance…

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Star trails above the Upper Isar Valley…

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The next morning – feels like being in Canada!

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Moonscapes Of Jan., Febr., March 2018

Here is a collection of my favorite moonscapes from 2018 so far. Enjoy!

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Starting 2018 with fireworks and a lunar halo @ 00:00:01am…

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Airliner crossing the Moon, 01|01|2018…

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Telescope imaging, 01|01|2018…

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Rising Moon above Mieminger Kette, Tyrol, Austria,  01|29|2018…

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Moon above Sonnenspitze, 2417 m, Tyrol, Austria, 01|29|2018…

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Telescope image of the full Moon, Tyrol, Austria, 01|29|2018…

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On the way back through a moonlit night, Tyrol, Austria, 01|29|2018…

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Rising full Moon @ Ofenpass, Switzerland, 01|30|2018…

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Enjoying the show @ Ofenpass, Switzerland, 01|30|2018…

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Setting full Moon @ Ofenpass, Switzerland, 01|31|2018…

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Setting crescent Moon @ my backyard, Lower Bavaria, Germany, 02|18|2018…

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Lunar halo, Lower Bavaria, Germany, 02|26|2018…

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Waning gibbous Moon, seen from my porch, 03|08|2018…

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Setting crescent Moon, along with Venus and Mercury @ Hirschaid, Upper Franconia, 03|19|2018…

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Crescent Moon @ nautical twilight, while Venus and Mercury are covered by clouds, Hallertau, Lower Bavaria, Germany, 03|21|2018…

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Full Moon rising on Good Friday @ my backyard, Hallertau, Lower Bavaria, Germany, 03/30/2018…

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Good Friday´s full Moon in all its glory, 03|30|2018…

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Baade´s Window and SWEEPS

I got my first glance of Baade´s Window through Serge Brunier´s book “The Universe”, p. 24/25, in 2011 and  it almost felt like I could put myself into a bed of stars. The area looks like a nebula made out of stars, but in real, the millions of stars are separated by thousands of billion kilometres by each other. The area is mostly free of interstellar dust and therefore astronomers use it to view the galactic core of our home galaxy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baade%27s_Window. Within Baade´s Window is another small window called “SWEEPS”, used for monitoring the visible stars for extrasolar planets in 2006, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagittarius_Window_Eclipsing_Extrasolar_Planet_Search. Being able processing images I had taken back in August 2013 in Australia and seeing the results now in 2018 is very satisfying and makes me wanna go back “to the stars” every time I look at the image. Enjoy!

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Looking straight at the core of our home galaxy, the Milkyway, towards the constellation of Sagittarius. 66 images stacked, with a total of 29 min. of exposure time, using a Vixen Polarie and a Canon 1100 Da with a 70-200mm lens @ 70mm, processed via PixInsight, ColorEfex and Lightroom, East coast Australia Aug. 2013, processed Feb. 2018

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Annotated image…does anyone notice the “skull like shape” between NGC 6357 and M6?

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The Milky Way-In All Its Glory

When starting digital imaging in 2010, I admired all the images showing  the milky way in all its glory, not knowing a single thing about how they were taken or even how they have been accomplished/processed. I knew back then, that there is a software out there for stacking multiple images, but that has been all Greek to me. While being in Australia in Aug. 2013, I took heaps of images of the milky way, which is in its own full glory at that time of the year, using a modified Canon 1100 D camera and a Vixen Polarie  star trekking device. Being back home, I had the images, but I still couldn´t figure it out how to process them and using a Mac/iOS made it more difficult to find a proper/for free stacking software. A friend of mine introduced me into PixInsight software, which is a fantastic tool, but it got a very steep learning curve. After years of try and error, being unsatisfied with the outcome, I neglected the project of stacking the images and putting together a multiple mosaic panel of the milky way. Again with the aid of my friend Bernd, who introduced me into processing the images via PixInsight, and a lots of free time during the winter months, I finally have been able to figure things out  I started almost six years ago. The downside of this? The longing for the stars increases more and more every time I look at the final image. To view the image in all its glory – click on it, best seen on a 27″ screen. Enjoy!

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Six-panel mosaic, stacked with PixInsight and stitched together with Lightroom, no adjustments applied…focal length: 70mm…

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Six panel mosaic of the center of the milky way, each panel is a stacked image of multiple photographs. The final image contains 181 single frames, with a total of 74.6 min. exposure time. Stacked with PixInsight, some enhancement in ColorEfex and global adjustments with Lightroom. My all-time favorite is the so-called Cat Paws Nebula (NGC 6334), but there is so much more in it: NGC 6357, M6, M7,M8, M20, the Galactic Center, the “Kiwi” to the lower right and some sort of “skull” right in the center…

Re: The Milky Way – By Canon 1100 D(a) & Vixen Polarie

In 2012 I did a post about imaging the Milky Way combining it with a photogenic foreground (https://wp.me/p1aVSr-A8). The images were taken more than five years ago now, using a Vixen Polarie  and a modified Canon 1100 D – which makes it a 1100 D (a). Back then I took a set of images of the same subject, with exposure times up to 5 minutes, hoping that there might be some software out there for stacking star images and combining them with a static foreground image, preferably (but not always) taken with the same camera settings prior to the others. The only difference: turning off the tracker device while shooting the foreground. The shown images in this post are all composites, with a “tracked” background and a “non-tracked” foreground, using PixInsight (stacking), Gimp (merging), Viveza (local adjustments) and Lightroom (general adjustments). Next step will be putting together a mosaic of a set of stacked images of our Milky Way, taken in August 2013, East coast Australia. Enjoy!

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South Tyrol, Italy, left: 5 images stacked with Pixinsight, right: final image with a total of 423 sec. for the stars and 179 sec. for the foreground…

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The Dolomites, Italy, left: 6 images stacked with Pixinsight, right: final image with a total of 1024 sec. for the stars and 25 sec. for the foreground…

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Großglockner Ridge, Austria, left: 14 images stacked with Pixinsight, right: final image with a total of 1318 sec. for the stars and 357 sec. for the foreground…

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The Großglockner, the highest mountain in Austria, left: 23 images stacked with Pixinsight, right: final image with a total of 1191 sec. for the stars and 169 sec. for the foreground…

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Brennkogel and Hochtor, Großglockner High Alpine Road, Austria, left: 10 images stacked with Pixinsight, right: final image with a total of 1625 sec. for the stars and 25 sec. for the foreground…

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