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Southern Sky at Ebenwaldhöhe

 

Southern Sky at Ebenwaldhöhe

 

Notes: This image of the Southern Sky was taken at Ebenwaldhöhe, Lower Austria, during a clear moonless night in early June 2010. It is actually a mosaic consisting of 16 individual exposures and was created in a simple way, by shooting on a fixed tripod with a 50mm 1:1.4 lens left fully open. The exposure time was set to 10 seconds to keep the star trails short enough not to be visible at the magnification shown here. The camera's sensitivity was set to ISO 1600, an automatic dark frame was subtracted after each exposure to reduce the image noise. A commercial panorama software created the mosaic, it corrected for lens distorsion and vignetting and matched the individual images pretty well. The result is still noisy, in spite of using an additional noise reduction tool, but the noise is not visible at web resolution.

The Milky Way shows up well with lots of structure. The Small and the Great Sagittarius Star Clouds are readly visible along with some prominent deep-sky objects such as M7, M6, M8, M20, M21, M22, M17 and M16. The left part of the sky pictured here belongs to the constellation Sagittarius and the right part to Scorpius. The southern part of Scorpius is hidden below the local horizon.

The lower Southern Sky at Ebenwaldhöhe is somewhat degraded by light pollution and by haze near the horizon. Several light pollution plumes show up, the most prominent one being the orange plume in the middle, probably caused by the sodium street lights of the nearby village of Kleinzell, which is situated down on the valley floor below the observation site. At the lower right edge of the picture the building of a nearby inn can be seen faintly.


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© 2010 Walter Koprolin