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....FEBRUARY 2018 NIGHT SKY.. FEBRERO 2018 CIELO NOCTURNO....

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....February is possibly the most interesting month for the observation of the Winter night sky from the Canary Islands. With the constellation of Orion very high in the first hours of the night, it is possible to admire one of the most popular and most photographed objects of the Deep Sky, the nebula M42, a fantastic star nursery found in the sword of the mythical sky hunter. This same area is very rich of telescopic targets, such as the close Gemini and Taurus, starting from the many open clusters, one of the big views of this season, or other more exotic, such as the Crab nebula, famous remnant of a supernova explosion registered some 1000 years ago. 

While we are waiting for the big planets to be back at accessible hours, for the lovers of the Solar System the Moon is present as all months; her full phase is in the first days and then will come back in the final week. Her craters, her seas and her mountains, which a telescope allows us to admire from hundreds of thousands of kilometers, will always be a fascinating view for all people.

Clear skies to everybody!  .. 

El mes de febrero es posiblemente el más interesante para la observación del cielo del invierno desde las Islas Canarias. Con la constelación de Orión ya bien alta en las primeras horas de la noche, es posible admirar uno de los objetos más llamativos y más fotografiados del Cielo Profundo, como es la Nebulosa M42, admirable criadero de estrellas localizado en la espada del mítico cazador celeste. Esta zona, así como las cercanas de Gémini y de Tauro, es muy rica en objetivos telescópicos, destacando los numerosos cúmulos abiertos, gran atractivo del cielo de esta estación, y otros más exóticos, como la Nebulosa del Cangrejo, famoso remanente de una explosión de supernova registrada hace casi mil años.
A la espera de que los grandes planetas vuelvan a ser observables en las primeras horas de la noche, para los amantes del Sistema Solar como cada mes está presente el objetivo más llamativo de todos, es decir la Luna, en fase de plenitud en los primeros días de mes y que vuelve a brillar en la última semana. Sus cráteres, sus mares y sus montañas, que el telescopio nos permite admirar desde cientos de miles de kilómetros, no dejan indiferente a nadie.

¡Cielos despejados para todos! ....

....JUNE 2017 NIGHT SKY.. JUNIO 2017 CIELO NOCTURNO ....

.... With the solstice of June 21th, a new summer begins, a very promising epoch for the observation of the night sky. The firmament is dominated this year by the brilliant planet Jupiter, which through a telescope reveals the secrets of his atmosphere and the tireless dance of his satellites. The most typical constellations of this period, are the Lion and the Virgin, already very high when the night comes in, leaving the East for the beautiful view of Scorpio, so rich in astronomical treasures, or the mythical Hercules, with his fantastic cluster M13.

The Moon accompanies us in the first part of the month. A telescope can easily reveal her mountains and carters, her seas and highlands. Do not miss this incredible view which can fascinate everyone.

Clear skies to everybody!  .. Con el solsticio de junio, que este año cae el día 21, empieza el verano, época muy adecuada para la observación del cielo nocturno. El firmamento está dominado por el brillante planeta Júpiter, que al telescopio nos desvela los rasgos de su atmósfera y el baile incansable de sus satélites. Las constelaciones más típicas de este período, como el León o Virgo, ya están bien altas cuando aparece la noche, dejando el paso en el Este al maravilloso Escorpión, tan rico en tesoros astronómicos, o al mítico Hércules, con su fantástico cúmulo M13.

La Luna nos acompaña en la primera parte del mes. El telescopio nos desvela sus montañas y sus cráteres, sus mares y sus Tierras Altas. No se pierdan este espectáculo tan asombroso que no deja indiferente a nadie.

¡Cielos despejados para todo! ....

....MARCH 2017 NIGHT SKY.. MARZO 2017 CIELO NOCTURNO ....

....As occurs every year, March is taking us into Spring. The nights are getting shorter day by day, until on the 20th, the date of the Equinox in 2017, the duration of the day is the same as the night, becoming longer in the following 6 months.

In the beginning of March the typical constellations of winter, such as Orion, the Great Dog and Gemini, are still very high in the night sky, allowing us to admire their precious treasures, like the fascinating Orion Nebula, the closest nursery of stars, the multiple system of Sigma, in the same area, or the glorious cluster M35, in the Twins. But from the East new and interesting objects are now appearing, such as the Lion and the Big Dipper -which in the last months had disappeared from our skies- messengers of the great galaxies’ season of the next months.

The planet Jupiter is finally back, appearing earlier every day towards the East horizon, balancing the protagonism of Venus, setting down early in the West. His satellites, dark bands and clear zones offer us, through a telescope a beautiful view we should not miss the opportunity to admire.

As we are already accustomed to this year, the Moon is the protagonist of the first part of the month. Nobody remains indifferent when looking at her mountains, craters, seas or highlands: in spite of the enormous distance, these details are clearly visible and really impressive.

Clear skies to everybody!

..Como todos los años, el mes de marzo nos trae la primavera: las noches se van haciendo cada día más cortas, hasta que el día 20, fecha del equinoccio de primavera en este 2017, la duración del día iguala a la de la noche, para después superarla en los 6 meses siguientes.

A principios de marzo, las constelaciones más populares del invierno, como Orión, el Can Mayor y Gémini, siguen bien altas en el cielo vespertino, permitiéndonos seguir contemplando sus más preciados tesoros, como la fascinante Nebulosa de Orión, el más próximo criadero de estrellas, el sistema múltiple de Sigma, en la misma área, o el glorioso cúmulo M35, en los Gemelos.

Pero en el Este ya van apareciendo nuevos e interesantes asterismos, tal como el León y la Osa Mayor -que durante unos meses había desaparecido de nuestro cielo- mensajeros de la gran temporada de galaxias que nos espera a partir de un mes.

También el planeta Júpiter vuelve a  aparecer en el horizonte Este, quitando el protagonismo a Venus, que se pone temprano en el Oeste. Sus satélites, sus bandas y sus zonas claras nos ofrecen a través del telescopio un espectáculo maravilloso, que no debemos perder la ocasión de admirar.

Como va siendo costumbre en este año, la Luna es la protagonista de la primera parte del mes. Nadie permanece indiferente a la visión de sus montañas y sus cráteres, sus mares y sus Tierras Altas: sus impresionantes detalles nos dejan asombrados, a pesar de la enorme distancia que nos separa.

¡Cielos despejados para todo!

....

CONVERSATION WITH ANDY, CARLY AND MARISA

I had a great email conversation with photography enthusiast Andy Bailey the other week that i had to share his questions with our resident photographer Carly Higgins and here were our  answers: 

MARISA AND ANDY

I sell a lot of full spectrum cameras to astrophotographers but I have never been able to use one here in the uk due to light pollution. 

1) would I need to use a full spectrum camera or would a unmodified one be ok?

2) where is the closest point to corralejo where I could capture the Milky Way.  Could I achieve this in a single image or would I need to stack several shots?

3) I understand that at around 28mm I could use a maximum exposure of around 30 seconds. Does that sound right?

Could you advise what settings you would use?

I have various compact, bridge and dslr camera to choose from but would like to carry something practical and as cheap as possible. 

Hi Andy

You don't have to use a full spectrum camera. Most of our photos are taken with dslr's. As a collective we own full frame Canon body's and 3/4sensor bodies. Our previous photographer and the founder are Nikon lovers. As you can see from our website: www.starsbynight.es and Instagram account: instagram.com/starsbynightfv/ you can still produce amazing photos with basic equipment. 

We are very lucky in Fuerteventura that you don't have to go too far out to see the milky way or to see stars at night. We do observations just 5mins away from the RIU hotel near the dunes which is about 10min drive from the centre of Corralejo. You won't really see the Milky way in April. From July onwards we have a good view but September/October are the best months to see it with with the naked eye. Yes, you can take a photo of this in a single image. 

As for your 28mm lens... well that depends if its a full frame, APSC or Micro4/3  camera, what fstop of your lens ( this will change the light qualities depending on what sensor size you have)? What iso? as a general rule and depending on what you are shooting - be it milky way or stars in general, or light/star trails  you would be looking at anything from minimum of 20sec-30secs for a night photo ( depending on what you are photographing). 

If you are specifically looking at taking night time photos i  would recommend bringing a dslr with the widest and brightest lens you have. If this is not what you have then a good start would be something with a lens that is f4 and/or brighter (f2.8, f2, f1.8, f1.2 - are nice to play with). Yet you can still take a good quality photo with even a standard 18-55 kit lens if its only milky way that you want to shoot. 

 

CARLY AND ANDY

"Have you ever tried using a Ricoh theta S fir astrophography"

No I have never tried 360 degree photography

"The Milky Way is the object that I wanted to try and capture. I have several apps on my phone to help track it. I guess planets and nebulas would potential need longer exposures and equatorial mount. " 

You can capture images of the planets (looking like stars) using only a DSLR and actually as some are very bright you don't need a long exposure, but If you are looking to take more deep space images yes you would need a very long exposure so an equatorial mount or tracker of some kind would be essential.

"This is the style of photo I'd like to achieve. Astroscape!  Is the following a series of images (foreground / background) or still just the one?"( see above picture for reference)

This is all one image in camera, where possible I prefer to do this and reduce processing time

"If it's easy to explain how would you achieve the above image? "

This image is just a single exposure of 15s at f/2.8 and ISO 2000 and would be very easy for even a beginner to take, its the kind of image we will learn to take on workshops. It was a beautiful clear night and the milky way was clearly visible to the naked eye. There is of course a little post processing in Photoshop

"Finally one last question, assuming there was a clear sky with no foreground subject like the windmill, how would you advise achieving the image of the Milky Way like it is in the image above (assuming I was using an APS C with kit lens)"

You would need to use your widest angle lens to get as much of the sky in as possible, if you have a kit lens I am guessing something like 18-55mm which on a crop sensor is equivalent to 27mm on full frame - not massive wide but definitely workable. You also want to use the lowest aperture possible f/2.8 or below if you have it. Using the 500 hundred rule (something else we teach on the workshop) you can workout how long an exposure (shutter speed) you can have without starting to get star trails. For 27mm I would recommend no more than 18 seconds. You will then need to adjust your ISO to get a properly exposed image balancing it against the other 2 elements of the exposure triangle Aperture and Shutter Speed. It would be really great to have you attend a workshop as I can demonstrate exactly how to capture and image like this and work with you to get exactly what you want.

To note: content has been edited slightly to remove places and dates. 

who is Andy Bailey: INFRAREADYUK & BESTGHOSTHUNTING