> DARKEST SKY IN EUROPE

  • Posted on: 14 February 2019
  • By: tihomiry

This is the beginning of my research on how dark the sky could be and what is benefit of a dark sky for astrophotography. I was inspired from those 2 sites. First one presents mathematical model of how dark the sky is. Orange is for very polluted sky, for yellow – you do not see the milky way, for green – sky is polluted of some degree up to the zenith, for blue – there is a shining at the horizon and grey is for a dark sky. The second map is for how much light each village emit. You can switch between the years.

1. http://darksitefinder.com/maps/world.html

2. http://www.lightpollutionmap.info/#zoom=8&lat=5183204&lon=2785360&layers=B0TFFFF

I went to Kara Tepe at the heart of the Rhodope mountains 1600m above the sea level. It is in the grey area and the sky was outstanding. You can get great shots with ease. Full if stars and details.
I will continue my research and use such locations to shoot faint objects. Here are some new photos of Lagoon nebula (40x30s ISO 25600) and M22 cluster (1x30s ISO 25600):




This is a comparison of my not modified Pentax k5 DSLR and the same, but modified one without IR-cut filter.

Astrotracer is a great way to take advantage of the Pentax DSLR camera in-body shake reduction mechanism. It is available since Pentax k5 and track celestial bodies by moving the sensor. Here is what is it ablout:

Staying at my home inspires me to make some documentation of my experience. I got a dedicated drive for my astrophotos and start reorganize them by objects. Here is an article of the most recent process I use on my photos. Enjoy: )

For a few months from now Betelgeuse (Alpha Orion) dim so much, that it looks as bright as the stars in the Orion belt. This is not so disturbing and does not mean that cataclysmic events are happening with it.

For my last trip to the Rodopa mountain I decided to cross the limits and to target an object that is hard to believe that a non-professional equipment could catch.

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