APOD: Mangaia's Milky Way (2011 Sep 24)

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APOD: Mangaia's Milky Way (2011 Sep 24)

Post by APOD Robot » Sat Sep 24, 2011 4:06 am

Image Mangaia's Milky Way

Explanation: From Sagittarius to Carina, the Milky Way Galaxy shines in this dark night sky above planet Earth's lush island paradise of Mangaia. Familiar to denizens of the southern hemisphere, the gorgeous skyscape includes the bulging galactic center at the upper left and bright stars Alpha and Beta Centauri just right of center. About 10 kilometers wide, volcanic Mangaia is the southern most of the Cook Islands. Geologist estimate that at 18 million years old it is the oldest island in the Pacific Ocean. Of course, the Milky Way is somewhat older, with the galaxy's oldest stars estimated to be over 13 billion years old. (Editors note: This image holds the distinction of being selected as winner in the Royal Greenwich Observatory's Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition in the Earth and Space category.)

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islader2

Re: APOD: Mangaia s Milky Way (2011 Sep 24)

Post by islader2 » Sat Sep 24, 2011 4:31 am

What a mediocre photo for a picture of the year in any contest! Anyone here have a better choice? Thanx. :shock: :shock:

Landy

Re: APOD: Mangaia's Milky Way (2011 Sep 24)

Post by Landy » Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:50 am

I think it is an excellent picture. Maybe the first poster needs to take their sunglasses off. However, I would love to know where APOD got the idea that an island that is a mere 18 Ma is the "oldest island in the Pacific" - you must be joking surely?

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Re: APOD: Mangaia's Milky Way (2011 Sep 24)

Post by Ann » Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:54 am

Well, islader2, I think anybody's appreciation of an astrophoto depends strongly on what kind of astropictures the individual likes to see in the first place. Some people like nothing better than a new image of Mars, others go to seventh heaven over a mapped color image of the Sun in ultraviolet, and others love an artist's impression of a newly-discovered planet in orbit around an alien sun (or even in orbit around a pair of alien suns!!).

For myself, I love galaxies, as long as they contain at least some star formation. I love galaxies that are far away, but I love our own galaxy, too. (Naturally; I live in it.) :wink:

I love images that show the beauty of our galaxy. To reveal a huge amount of detail in truly sparkling RGB color, you need to concentrate on the galaxy itself and not include any background. But personally, I think that pictures of the Milky Way which show an Earthly landscape as a background is a beautiful genre all of their own. After all, these images underscore an important fact: We are inside the Milky Way. In fact, we are a part of it.

Within the limitations and constraints that are inherent in this kind of image, the "Earth and sky image", I think today's APOD is splendid. We see a dramatic, apparently strongly hilly landscape, with the picturesque outlines of palm trees. Above the landscape we see a very long stretch of the Milky Way, which curves down and to the left in apparent tandem with the landscape! That is so well done. It's a truly beautiful composition.

I love the general appearance of the MIlky Way, too. The colors are beautiful, the brightest stars are delightfully brought out, and again the composition is beautiful. Almost in the dead center of the image you can see the apparently brightest star in this part of the MIlky Way, whitish Alpha Centauri. Far from being the intrinsically brightest of all stars, however, Alpha Centauri is, on the other hand, the nearest of all stars apart from the Sun. Not only that, but the brightest component of Alpha Centauri is a star that is remarkably similar to our own star, the Sun. Today's APOD puts us in an Earthly landscape, from which we are looking at the nearest star apart from our own, almost a twin of our own Sun, and at the same time we get to look at a good chunk of our beautiful galaxy.

Note to the right of Alpha Centauri an almost similarly bright but bluish star, Beta Centauri. (Beta Centauri is very far away and intrinsically very bright, so it is by no means a twin of the Sun or of Alpha Centauri.) Note some distance to the lower right of Beta Centauri a dark patch, which is the famous Coalsack. Immediately to the right of the Coalsack is one of the most famous asterisms in the sky, the Southern Cross. But that's not all. Far to the lower right in the picture you find a sort of counterpart to the Southern Cross, the False Cross! Note the reddish star between two palm fronds at lower right. It's Avior, Epsiolon Carinae, a bright K-type giant. To the right of Avior you can find what looks like two blue stars. One is actually a cluster, IC 2391, but the star to the upper left of the cluster is a fairly ordinary main sequence A-type star, Delta Velorum. To the right of one of the upper fronds of the same palm tree, you can see a pair of stars. The brighter of them is Turais, Iota Carinae. It's actually a supergiant star, although a "lesser supergiant", of spectral class A8. Some distance to the right of Turais is a blue star, Kappa Velorum, an intrinsically bright B-type star which is the "fourth leg" of the False Cross.

All in all, I like this image a lot!

Ann
Last edited by Ann on Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:04 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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RUBEN

Re: APOD: Mangaia's Milky Way (2011 Sep 24)

Post by RUBEN » Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:23 am

Gracias Ana, excelente exposición.

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Re: APOD: Mangaia's Milky Way (2011 Sep 24)

Post by orin stepanek » Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:14 pm

Wow! 8-) One of the best Milky Way shots I've seen! :D :D :D
Orin

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Re: APOD: Mangaia's Milky Way (2011 Sep 24)

Post by NoelC » Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:55 pm

Spectacular view, compositionally stunning and made even better by the silhouettes of the local flora. It's refreshing to know there are still dark places in the world, and this image brings the words "Island Paradise" to mind.

My only nit to pick with this image is that the modifications to the camera that make it more sensitive to deep red light have given the image a strong overall magenta tint, which hasn't been adequately compensated-for in processing. I feel this obscures some of the beautiful natural coloration of the Milky Way and sky and makes the image feel unnatural overall.

-Noel

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Re: APOD: Mangaia's Milky Way (2011 Sep 24)

Post by zbvhs » Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:58 pm

The distinguishing feature of this photograph is that the sky is dark. The trees are silhouetted by the light of the stars. It's getting harder and harder to find places where the the sky is dark enough to see the Milky Way at all.
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Re: APOD: Mangaia's Milky Way (2011 Sep 24)

Post by paulobao » Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:18 pm

Greetings from Portugal,

Each one have its own tastes (like each one have its own belly button!).
Despite these kind of landscape postcard photos beeing allways nice (like a moon between the clouds, or the moon at the sunset, or someone catching the moon,...) it is not the same kind of what I call an astronomic picture. I think (only my 2 cents of course) that a picture that is taken in a few seconds with nothing more that a wide angle lens when you are in a no LP vacation island, or something like that, should not be "confused" with a multi hour (sometime dozens of hours for several sleepless cold nights) + multi hour processing, because they are not the same kind of photo! I do not call to these kind of photos "astronomic photos" but "landscape photos with astro inserts" (like the MW, the Moon, planets,(?), etc).
Saying this, I thing I will never get an APOD but I will allways enjoy to make my best in astrophotography and astrophotometry and learn more about the Universe :) .

Regards,
paulo

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Re: APOD: Mangaia's Milky Way (2011 Sep 24)

Post by starstruck » Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:33 pm

Looking at this picture gives me a good feeling, like a shiver down my spine. It reminds me how firmly rooted my feet are upon this beautiful planet of ours, but looking up at those myriad points of distant light, it seems almost like we could fall into the deepest depths of space. It's like vertigo when looking up . . dizzying, but in a good way.

Mikey

Re: APOD: Mangaia's Milky Way (2011 Sep 24)

Post by Mikey » Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:49 pm

While viewing this APOD, I wondered if Southern "Hemispherians" view maps with South at the top and got to this page which is an interesting aside especially, the Buckminster Fuller projection.
http://flourish.org/upsidedownmap/

Wolf kotenberg

Re: APOD: Mangaia's Milky Way (2011 Sep 24)

Post by Wolf kotenberg » Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:31 pm

I am still way back there at the fork on the road wrapping my mind around a planet orbiting two stars and trying to figure out the right dance moves. Probably much like riding the SCRAMBLER at the fair.

islader2

Re: APOD: Mangaia's Milky Way (2011 Sep 24)

Post by islader2 » Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:54 am

@ ANN Well, Ann {without an 'e'} your post is excellent as well as informative==as usual. On behalf of the "regulars," Thanx. But my argument is akin to paulo from Lusitania: not enough work went into the picture IMHO. I am chagrined to disagree with you and the others, but I stand by my opinion without any rancor at anyone who would belittle my opinion.
your #2 admirer 8-) 8-) 8-)

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Re: APOD: Mangaia's Milky Way (2011 Sep 24)

Post by Ann » Sun Sep 25, 2011 5:35 am

Point taken, islader2 and paolo! 8-)

Ann
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mactavish

Re: APOD: Mangaia's Milky Way (2011 Sep 24)

Post by mactavish » Sun Sep 25, 2011 5:56 am

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Aren't we all fortunate to be able to behold!

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Re: APOD: Mangaia's Milky Way (2011 Sep 24)

Post by owlice » Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:50 am

Not enough work went into this picture??

And you know how much work went into it.... how, exactly? Please tell. I'm curious to know.

Thanks.

I think it gorgeous. Astronomy is more than telescope images (not that there is anything wrong with telescope images, of course, whether ground- or space-based). Images such as this connect us to all humankind, for this is the sky that has been seen by every generation that ever lived until recent times, when light pollution wiped out such a night-sky view for so many. This image, and others like it, are a reminder of what we have lost. We have won images of Saturn eclipsing the sun and the Fornax cluster and the EGGs of star birth (and yay for these), even while so many can no longer see our home galaxy in the night sky. Well, here is it! Our home, our "island universe," framed by one little slice of our tiny life-teeming planet.

Not enough work....! I daresay that if images such as this were easy, there would be no need to show them on APOD at all, as we would all have captured something very similar through our own lenses. But we have not. Thank goodness a few do, however, and share them with the rest of us.

My congratulations and thanks to Tunç.
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

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Re: APOD: Mangaia's Milky Way (2011 Sep 24)

Post by paulobao » Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:41 am

Yes, this a very easy picture to do! Unfortunatelly most of us (well here I talk for myself) can't afford a trip to a paradise Island like that one. As the author writes about this 2010 picture: "This pacific paradise in the southern hemisphere is Mangaia, the most southerly of the Cook Islands. This volcanic remnant has the distinction of being the oldest island in the Pacific dating back to about 18 million years ago. ...... "I traveled to this 10 km wide island with only 500 Polynesian residents because the total solar eclipse path of 11 July 2010 was passing over this location." "

I never said this is a ugly picture, which is not of course. But it should be a very expensive one.
Since, with this kind of zero LP you may see the all the MW, what you need it is to wait until you have the frame composition as you like, mount your camera in the tripod or so (you have time don't worry, this is not a NEO :-)),use the LiveView function of Canon's DSLR to see if you like it and what you need to change, take a few preview shots and when everything is ok....and it will, because maybe there will nobody else in this paradise shooting this, take the final shots (low duration ones...but that the author should already konw because his gallery is essentially abou this!), stack them and voilá! A little PS will finish the deal (since the author even say nothing about the techical data of his photos...sorry he used an unfiltered Canon 5D and a 24mm lens! Do you know what should be wrong to have say, star trails at this WA? And I'm not sure that there are not, since the presented photo is really downsized from the original one! ).

So maybe is all about opportunity. And about the work, please give me this kind of work, I will be with a smile in my face too :-).

Dear Tunç, CONGRATULAIONS for one more APOD :-) in this astronomic landsacpe.

Regards,
paulo

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Re: APOD: Mangaia's Milky Way (2011 Sep 24)

Post by Ann » Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:20 am

I should think, at least, that it takes a lot of very careful planning to get a composition like this one. I don't think you just travel to a nice little island, aim your camera at the sky, and get this shot. Not even if you check out before you go on how the first few tries turned out.

Ann
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Re: APOD: Mangaia's Milky Way (2011 Sep 24)

Post by owlice » Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:59 am

Right, Ann, or we'd all have similar shots!

Paolo, you seem to think that anyone can go to Greece and magically capture images such as this one as Anthony Ayiomamitis did, or go to Réunion and get this shot, as Luc Perrot did. I assure you, that is not the case. I would not expect to capture such images were I in either place!

Regarding expense, there's the expense of telescopes, cameras, and the computing power and software needed for processing. And of course, time. Some people cut out the expense of the telescope entirely, and perhaps focus on other things. Nearly all astrophotographs are expensive in some way (or several ways); there are few that are simply fortuitous shots with inexpensive gear. This image is one where the photographer created some of his own good fortune, as many do -- with hard work.

I'm not at all denying that work goes into other astrophotography images. I know they take work! (Often expensive gear, too.) I'm thankful that, whatever an individual astrophotographer's preference is, they all take the time, go to the trouble, and do the hard work they do to show others the beauty and wonders of our universe, whether that beauty or those wonders are near or far.
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Re: APOD: Mangaia's Milky Way (2011 Sep 24)

Post by Ann » Sun Sep 25, 2011 2:47 pm

Owlice wrote:
I'm thankful that, whatever an individual astrophotographer's preference is, they all take the time, go to the trouble, and do the hard work they do to show others the beauty and wonders of our universe, whether that beauty or those wonders are near or far.
Yeah!! :D :D :D

Ann
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Re: APOD: Mangaia's Milky Way (2011 Sep 24)

Post by paulobao » Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:37 pm

Hi Owlice and Ann,

Yes you are both right, they require planning (as all the astropictures...imagine what the planning to make a 12 panel mosaic!) and luck too (imagine if the sky was cloudy :lol: ). I have made lots of plans too! See this one where I captured the rendez-vous between LCROSS and asteroid (3731) Hancock http://astronomy.fm/aapod/2009-09-25_LC ... -GIF).html. This was planned weeks ahead and more, I needed to travel 250 km away from home (where it was rainning) with all that heavy gear and laptop, to a place with lower chances of clouds and rain (and I was luck because the clouds appeared 30 minutes after I got my frames).

We are talking about an aesthetic value and therefore it is what it is! Saying this,I never saw an APOD that was not pleasant .

What I would like to see here was the comment of the author about the difficulties he faced to take this photograph and to process it. Like that we could evaluate it on a technical perspective and infer about their difficulty!

As a joke see this picture I took in a trip over portugal last April http://lpod.wikispaces.com/April+21%2C+2011.
This was taken with a video camera (not even a compact camera) and without any tripod. Sure it is not in the same league as the Mangaia's Milky Way neither the APOD, but many people liked it (and believe me this was really, really a joke....that I will not report here :!: ). It is not even at my astrophotography album since this is not (for me) an astronomic photography!

Thanks for the debate which is allways nice to have (other way the thread would be call "Congratulations to the APOD's author" :D ).

Cheers,
paulo

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Re: APOD: Mangaia's Milky Way (2011 Sep 24)

Post by Ann » Sun Sep 25, 2011 5:03 pm

Your "stork and Moon" shot is just lovely, paolo! :D :D :D

Ann
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