How to photograph the Milky Way?

It can be enjoyed on starry nights, when there is very little light pollution. It looks like the Milky Way crosses the sky, hence its name: the Milky Way. But beware, due to poor lighting, shooting requires special equipment!

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[EN VIDÉO] First image of the Milky Way’s central black hole, Sagittarius A*
The EHT has just revealed the first image of our galaxy’s central black hole, called Sagittarius A*. This astronomical monster with a mass of 4 million solar masses is located 27,000 light-years away from us, and its diameter is 15 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon!

The Milky Way Means galaxy in which we find ourselves, spiral galaxy : More precisely, we are in one of its arms called Orion27,000 light-years from the center where the famous black hole is located Sagittarius A* recently photographed.

All of the sky we observe actually corresponds to the Milky Way galaxy seen from the inside, but this faint white line that we associate with this name is one of the densest parts of the galaxy, actually containing thousands ofstars And deep sky objects! photographed Capturing all those small points of light first requires a long exposure time, in order to get the clearest picture possible, but also a large aperture. But no professional equipment is needed, it is quite possible to take a beautiful photo with the consumer’s camera, or even smart phone !

Settings to be made

First of all, you should be able to make manual adjustments, be it on your device smart phone or your cameraThen you need mode M or equivalent which allows you to set each parameter yourself. Then come the different settings:

  • The Focal Length: This is what determines the angle of view of the image: the greater the size Focal Length The lower, the wider your viewing angle will allow you to get to know the Milky Way as a whole.
  • to Opening : Specifies how much light your device will allow in. For an object as faint as the Milky Way, it is necessary to the extreme. In practice, the aperture in a camera is determined by the F / N ratio: the smaller N, the larger the aperture will be. Thus, the opening Aperture f/1.8 It would be perfect but even Lens aperture f / 3.5 You have a chance to get a very beautiful picture!
  • then comes exposure time, or Speed shutter: A time of 15-30 seconds is recommended, all with a tripod or support firm enough to ensure the device or smartphone does not move. This will capture much more detail than the instant photo. Pay attention, too long will make the image blurry due to the rotation of the Earth. To get the ideal value, we can use 500 rule: 500 / focal length = maximum exposure time.
  • to me sensitive ISOAnd The best is to set it not to the maximum because it will bring noise Digitalbut to place it high enough that it brings luminous details: between 1600 and 6400. But if there are light sources other than stars ( moonstreet lighting or other artificial items), the ISO should not be too high so that these light sources do not stand out too much.
  • Finally, last but not least edit: the focus. There are two possibilities open to you: the so-called “infinite” focus if possible, and if not, the focus on the brightest star. Therefore, you should enlarge the star as much as possible, and then focus manually, that is, adjust it so that it appears as small and sharp as possible.
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Once the photo is taken, depending on the area Milky Way Targeted, you may see it in Colorsbecause the densest part is full clouds Molecules that look faint forEye Naked but colored in the machine! Otherwise, retouching can be done to activate the colors of the image, but for this it is first necessary to have a file in .raw.

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About the Author: Octávio Florencio

"Evangelista zumbi. Pensador. Criador ávido. Fanático pela internet premiado. Fanático incurável pela web."

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