Sunday, May 22, 2016

Milky Way Barely Visible in Noblesville

We had exceptional clear skies in Noblesville, IN on May 16 at 4am. I woke up to let the dogs out and it was like 40 degrees (F) with absolutely no wind. Perfectly clear skies. I saw Saturn and Mars blazing in the tail of Scorpius, and my favorite asterism the celestial teapot in Sagittarius.

I tried for a couple Milky Way shots and was surprised I actually could see some nebulosity even from my backyard. Noblesville is NE from downtown Indianapolis, so the light dome from the city is obvious - so seeing ANY part of the Milky Way is pretty cool.

backyard milky way before and after
Before (R) and After (L) processing in Adobe Camera RAW - not a lot to work with, but the fact that I caught it from my own backyard is pretty cool.

backyard milky way with light pollution
Single frame, Canon T5i, ISO 800, 18mm, f/3.5, 13 seconds on fixed tripod

backyard milky way with light pollution
Single frame, Canon T5i, ISO 1600, 18mm, f/3.5, 10 seconds on fixed tripod

backyard milky way with light pollution
Single frame, Canon T5i, ISO 1600, 18mm, f/3.5, 10 seconds on fixed tripod
As you can see, I didn't have much to work with - as soon as I turn the exposure and highlights up, the light pollution washes out the Milky Way. Still a cool piece of sky, and definitely reminds me of summer. Here is a screenshot from Stellarium showing the position of Saturn, Mars, and the stars in the constellations Scorpius and Sagittarius.

stellarium screenshot tea pot
Screenshot from Stellarium showing the southern sky at the time I took the photos on May 16, 2016. 
teapot asterism
Single frame, Canon T5i, ISO 800, 34mm, f/4.5, 6 sec - the Teapot Asterism and M7 globular cluster visible over the rooftops in the southern sky.

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