Tag Archives: Pleiades

Chasing Comet Neowise, July 18th-21st

I got two days off from work so I packed my stuff and went to South Tyrol, Switzerland and Italy on Saturday, to travel to some high alpine passes I always wanted to see but haven´t been able to in the past. Stilfser Joch, Umbrail Pass and Gavia Pass were the chosen ones, all of them ranking between 2500 – 2800 m. The first night was a blast; the sky cleared up and comet Neowise was easily visible to the northwest, while the Milkyway was towering in the south. Around 4:00 am, the last crescent Moon before New Moon rose to the east, with Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter wandering along the ecliptic. The impressions of those nights are almost not bearable, and since I´m traveling on my own, there is no one to talk to about feelings and emotions. Very intense nights. From crystal clear skies to sheet lightning, I got it all, not to forget the stunning scenery during day time. So here are just my favorite comet images from those three nights and hopefully I will be able to process/stack a set of single frames of Neowise from the first night. Enjoy!

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The sky cleared up on the first night, Stilfser Joch, 2757m, South Tyrol…

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Comet gazing…

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Colorful comet Neowise…

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What a beauty, 81 sec., 200 mm, Polarie…

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Neowise to the left, Venus, Hyades and Pleiades to the right…

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Fading away during nautical twilight…

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Lots of airglow around on the second night, Umbrail Pass, 2501 m, Switzerland…

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Neowise hiding behing 3000 m mountains, just showing its tail, surrounded by airglow, Gavia Pass, 2621 m, Italy…

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but finally showed up during nautical twilight, making one last impression…

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Conjunction Of Moon And Jupiter, 04/14/2013

Long time no see of the celestial constellations since a couple of weeks, but on Sunday the sky cleared up, right on time to watch Moon and Jupiter making their way along the ecliptic, through batches of cirrus clouds towards the horizon. Neat little spectacle on a Sunday night – good to be out again…Enjoy!

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Moon and Jupiter @ civilian twilight…

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Close-up…

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Wide-angle view @ civilian twilight…

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The colors starting to fade at the beginning of nautical twilight…

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Close-up @ nautical twilight…

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At the end of nautical twilight, the stars become visible…

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Addendum, English…

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Addendum, German…

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The Chadar Trek, Zanskar, India, Day Three

The third day started with a clear sky, but with a cold wind, which blew through the gorge of the frozen Zanskar River. Sometimes I almost wished the spectacular scenery would turn into ´normal` for just an hour or so to get a little break from photographing all the time, which can become quite strenuous while carrying the backpack and not loosing contact with my fellow comrades. After every turn, every bend the river made, either there has been a jaw-dropping scenery or we met other local porters, who were surprised we did not have more than three local porters for our group – 10-12 would have been normal. After a six-hours walk, the hardest thing of the day was to reach the 30 m higher grounded camp-site above the Zanskar River. But the view from there was just breathtaking – the most spectacular place I have spent a night so far. Enjoy!

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Along we go the frozen Zanskar River…

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Getting water for daily use can become quite dangerous…

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Tsering, one of our locals, with the traditional sledge; in the back a group of porters from a different party…

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Sangay, my trusty back-up…

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Sangay meeting some other porters on their way back…

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Walking on ice…

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Prayer flags wrapped around a holy tree…

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A mystical place amidst the Zanskar Mountains…

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Up we go to the camp-site…

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Tsering and Sangay gathered some fire wood…

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Last light on the nameless mountains of the Zanskar Range…

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Camp for the  night…

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By the fire…

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The first light of the rising full moon touching the snow-covered ridge…

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Sirius, Orion, Hyades, Jupiter, Pleiades (from left to right)…

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A night to remember…

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“Nature is the art of God.”  (Dante Alighieri)

The Chadar Trek, Zanskar, India, Day Two

The second day of the trek started with some light snow fall, which added some nice color onto the rocks and mountains, and of course, it wasn´t that cold anymore. Walking on so many different types of ice is quite experiencing, and sometimes we had to walk and climb beneath the frozen river due to the lack of support of the ice. Around midday, the weather cleared all up, it got sunny and cold again. After some 15-20 km and 5-6 hours of hiking, with about 17 kg of pack back on our shoulders, we reached our second camp site for the night, another nice hollow. I couldn´t resist to take startrail images that night, which I regretted physically very much the next morning. But looking at the images on the LCD screen that night, I almost freaked out because of the beauty of this place. Day two has been quite spectacular; so stay tuned for the next days – more images to come! Enjoy!

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View from the ´lodge` towards the Chadar…

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Overcast sky and light snow fall; notice the tiny looking trekkers…

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Weather is clearing up and walking on solid ice…

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The team, yours truly to the right…

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Walking along the riverbank due to to less support of the ice…

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Thomas hauling his orange sledge over the rocks…

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Walking on solid, frozen ice…

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The Zanskar River making its way through the ice; notice the tiny trekkers in front at the gorge…

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´Slippery as ice`, pun intended…

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Even getting water for cooking was an adventure on its own…

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Local porters doing the Chadar…

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Mountains without names, during sunset…

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The Boys getting tea ready…

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Orion, Hyades, Jupiter and Pleiades at the beginning of the night…

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Camp site of the second day and reflections on the ice…

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The rising full Moon is illuminating the gorge with light like at a sunrise…

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The fire of the camp site reflected on the Chadar, while the Moon is illuminating the gorge…

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Posing on solid ice, beneath the running water of the Zanskar River…

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Startrails over the Zanskar Mountains…

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Startrails, ice, running water, mountains, no light pollution, no aircrafts – what better?!

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“Freedom lies in being bold!” (Robert Frost, American Poet)

Hop Fields Of The Hallertau, Bavaria

The largest continuous hop planting area in the world is called “Hallertau”, which is derived from Old High German and means something like “a forest who hides its interior” or “wild/primeval forest”. The description ´..who hides its interior..`  also  fits well to most of the country-side residents of the Hallertau, including myself….a special breed of characters! The area is covering nearly 15 000 hectare and is part of Lower and Upper Bavaria, situated south of the Danube River and in the heart of  Bavaria, Germany, geographically seen. Growing up as a (hop)farmers kid, I know the flow of work and the amount of work involved in doing hops, but that changed a lot in the last 30 years.

These images are also a reminiscence to my “old” home; since I moved to Landshut, the capital of Lower Bavaria, one year ago, I have not been that much around at my former playgrounds. Luckily, from last Sunday on, I got three fantastic nights in a row spending out there in the fields and I enjoyed it very much. Knowing all the places, the back roads, the people and the locations where to photograph, brings back a lot of memories. The silhouettes of the empty fields make a fantastic foreground with the different light conditions. It does not always have to be the far away countries – the beauty lies in front of you! Enjoy!

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…reflected in the rear windows of my drive…

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Wires hanging loose from the main wires and waiting to be put into ground…

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Venus Belt (pink) and Earth Shade (grey, bottom), showing up to the east after sunset…

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…while twilight is producing different amazing colors to the west…

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Hyades and Pleiades showing up after nautical twilight, including a lot of light pollution at the horizon…

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My most ´photogenic` hop field to date at nautical twilight – and some light pollution…

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L.-r.: Sirius, Orion, Hyades, Jupiter and Pleiades above the hop fields of the Hallertau…

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Centering Orion, you will get horizontal trails along the Galactic Equator…

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“Stars-Shower”

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What better to spend a night out in the fields?…

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“If the hops once scratched, he can not let go.” (old saying)

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My Favorite Images Of November 2012

The month of November has been very productive; as you may notice its been very “night-scape-sided”. All of the images are from my latest sojourn to Austria and South Tyrol during the last New Moon phase in November. (Click to enlarge) . Enjoy!

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The sky is lifting up at night after a stormy day; MilkyWay, Jupiter, Pleiades (l.-r.), @Fernpaß, Austria…

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The last storm clouds fading away; MilkyWay, Orion, Jupiter, Hyades, Pleiades, @Fernpaß, Austria…

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My favorite activity – star-gazing, while the camera does its work, @Obtarrenz, Austria…

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The crescent Moon setting over the snowy ridge @South Tyrol…

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The Milky Way and the Andromeda Nebula (top left) above the woods of Obtarrenz, Austria…

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The Milky Way with its reddish illuminated alpha-hydrogen-nebulae, South Tyrol…

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Just before the immersion of Polis, SAO 186497 (Multiple star system), South Tyrol…

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Reflection of the setting crescent Moon @South Tyrol…

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The stars and the Milky Way becoming visible…

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Yours truly enjoining the show…

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Reflection of the Milky Way I…

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Reflection of the Milky Way II…

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Reflection of the Milky Way III…

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NGC 7000 or the North America Nebulae…

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Reflection of the stars…

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Pre-dawn, Sirius (left), Orion (faint, center), Jupiter (top, right) and Aldebaran (below Jupiter), 17th Nov. 2012, South Tyrol, Italy…

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The so-called Earth-shade or Venus-belt reflecting in the mountain lake… 

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Star-gazing at 2300m, Passo di Giau, the Dolomites…

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Star trails over a mountain lake, South Tyrol…

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Star trails over the Dolomites @Passo di Giau…

“If we are ever in doubt about what to do, it is a good rule to ask ourselves what we shall wish on the morrow that we had done.”

(John Lubbock)

My Favorite Images Of April 2012

“Astronomy Landscape Photography” has got a big hold on me; can´t believe I did not know any  of the stars and planets one year ago. In April last year, I have bought a Meade 8″ telescope with a LXD 75 equatorial mount and started to watch Saturn and the Moon. In June 2011 I managed to take my first “real” star trails image while being in Italy and a couple of weeks later I shot my first “Moon Trail” of the rising crescent Moon at 4:00 am in the morning. The learing curve is steep and there are still so many different “types” of photography out there like Deep Sky Imaging. The beginning is made…Enjoy!

 

The crescent Moon over St.Andreas Cathedral, accompanied by the Pleiades…

Moon Trails from the same night like before…

The crescent Moon and Venus along the constellations of Gemini (left) and Auriga (right), and the Hyades (below Moon) and the Pleiades (right below of Moon)…

The crescent Moon between the “horns” of Taurus (the bright dot below left of Moon is Aldebaran, the brightest star of the constellation of Taurus); mosaic of two images…

The star Zet Tau (the “header” of the “lower” horn of the constellation of Taurus) close to the Moon; 21:44 / 21:57 pm; (~50 % crop)

The clouds add a dramatic touch to the scene, while Venus is still very bright shining…

To get the overall view…

“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.”

( Anthony J.D `Angelo )

My Favorite Images Of March 2012

March has been dominated by the different conjunctions including the Moon, Venus and Jupiter, while “other terrestrial stuff” got a bit of a down-time. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy them…

 

Venus and Jupiter during nautical twilight above the city of Landshut…

20th March: equinoctial sunset…

Cloud patterns, filled with stars; planet Mars on the lower left edge…

Watching the night sky from a distinct spot in the woods, way up in the hills…

A solitary oak tree and a chapel somewhere in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps at dawn…

Venus and Jupiter “trapped” within the radio tower…

Moon Trails of the very first visible waxing crescent moon after New Moon…

Watching the stars on a moonless night…

Jupiter, Venus, Pleiades, Moon, Hyades over the empty hop fields of Lower Bavaria…

Star trails over the hills of foothills of the Bavarian Alps; notice the different shapes of the trails; at the bottom, they almost follow the shape of the hills, while on top they bend to the opposite; in the center, where the tracks are almost straight, that´s where the Galactic Equator goes through; the bright track coming from the left center edge about 1/3 into the frame is planet Mars…

View from the German/Austrian border towards Austria; the bright dot on the upper edge, center right, is planet Mars…

Self portrait – the burst within…

Long exposed: water flowing over rocks…

“Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.”

(Khalil Gibran, Lebanese Poet, 1883-1931)

Celestial Fingers

Last night I was scouting a former military training base, which is just a few kilometers away from where I´m now living. The base had been established in 1937 for practicing with tanks. They expropriated the farmers who lived there for decades and had cultivated it for their needs. Now the military is gone since a couple of years now and nature is going to take this beautiful piece of land back. As I arrived up there late afternoon, I was opting for some nice shots with a starry sky. But not to long after the sun had set, the clouds moved in. Disappointed at that point, I was back on the track to my car as I noticed a sudden change in the sky. The cloud cover lifted suddenly with an amazing display of patterns. The stars, constellations and planets have been visible through the very slow-moving cloud patterns. Actually I was  on my way back home, but I couldn´t resist to watch and photograph the “Celestial Fingers” for another 1,5 hours. Conclusion: be open to everything that comes in your way, even if you opted for something else. Enjoy!

 

 

That´s how it started…

 

Jupiter (bottom center), Venus (above J.), Pleiades (left above V.)…

 

Cloud patterns, filled with stars – and a planet – Mars (the bright dot in the lower left corner)…

 

Planet Mars is just below the constellation of Leo (lower left corner), other constellations are: Ursa Major, Auriga and Gemini…

 

Like the fingers of a hand…

 

“When we tune in to an especially human way of viewing the landscape powerfully, it resonates with an audience.”
(Galen Rowell, American Photographer, 1940-2002)

 

 

My New Playground

Finally, the move is over and my family and I are settled now in the capital city of Lower Bavaria – Landshut, or like  the citizens calls it: LA – following the great city of angels, Los Angeles/California. LA is the shortcut of the number plates at the district of Landshut. It is a very historical city and has been very famous in the Middle Ages, when Munich has been a small town where nothing happened. The following images are from a really great night and morning scouting the new city, with a lot of white frost and a very picturesque old town. More to follow…! Enjoy!

 

Entrance to Trausnitz Castle, with the Hyades, Pleiades and Jupiter

 

Traunitz Castle and a starry sky

 

My new playground…

 

What a cool place to spend the morning…

 

View of  Landshut Cathedral and old town…

 

The world tallest cathedral tower made of brick stones, 133 m.

 

Part of the old town, called “New Town”…

 

“Old Town” and “New Town” , LA…

 

White frost all around in a  park called “Hofberg”…

 

A “working” place to “like”…

 

Part of the old defense wall of Trausnitz Castle…

 

Trausnitz Castle “just this once” by day…

 

“My” new city: LA, Landshut

 

” Imagination is the eye of the soul.”

(Joseph Joubert, French Writer, 1754-1824)