APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

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APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by APOD Robot » Sat Jun 14, 2014 4:10 am

Image New York to London Milky Way

Explanation: Bright stars of Sagittarius and the center of our Milky Way Galaxy lie just off the wing of a Boeing 747 in this astronomical travel photo. The stratospheric scene was captured earlier this month during a flight from New York to London, 11,000 meters above the Atlantic Ocean. Of course the sky was clear and dark at that altitude, ideal conditions for astronomical imaging. But there were challenges to overcome while looking out a passenger window of the aircraft moving at nearly 1,000 kilometers per hour (600 mph). Over 90 exposures of 30 seconds or less were attempted with a fast lens and sensitive camera setting, using a small, flexible tripod and a blanket to block reflections of interior lighting. In the end, one 10 second long exposure resulted in this steady and colorful example of airborne astronomy.

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Re: APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by Boomer12k » Sat Jun 14, 2014 4:20 am

Now THAT is just AWESOME....very well done. My first attempts at Astrophotography was with a camera with no LCD view in the back, (30 buck digital camera, but no capabilities),...and so the view finder was no help...I had to randomly move my camera at the eye piece of the telescope to get a picture. I would take about 15 then go check what I had gotten.

And like this experiment with time exposures and the setup...I did get some pretty decent shots. Not great...but viewable. I have one of a smaller crater on the Moon, with a central peak....it was with my 4mm eye piece....not easy.

I think the results are pretty amazing with today's APOD.

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Re: APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by geckzilla » Sat Jun 14, 2014 4:30 am

The scattering of light around the brighter stars by the plane's window is pretty neat, too. A similar thing happens when there is a slight fog in the atmosphere with outdoor astrophotography.
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Re: APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by Ann » Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:27 am

What a pretty picture!

Note that some stars are yellower than the others. There is one at about four o'clock, not so far from the tip of the wing of the airplane. That is Eta Sagittarii, spectral class M3III, B-V index about 1.6. There is another yellow star at far right, at about two o'clock. That's 43 Ophiuchi, spectral class K4/K5III, B-V about 1.5. Also about 2 o'clock, but much closer to the center of the picture, is another yellow star, HD 167818, K3III, B-V about 1.6. And there' s a faint reddish one at about 2 o'clock, HD 159881, spectral class K5III, B-V 1.9.

I think it is so interesting that a good RGB color picture makes it possible for you to guess, not necessarily the spectral class of a star, but its (reddened) color.

Note fine bluish open cluster M7 at right just below center. To the upper right of M7 is smaller cluster M6, whose red giant, NM Scorpii, is quite obvious in this picture. BM Scorpii is rather red too, with a B-V index of about 1.6, but its color is attenuated by the light from all the blue stars in the cluster.

Of course, the very yellow elongated patch of light at upper right is Baade's Window, a fairly unobscured part of the distant yellow bulge of the Milky Way.

What a fine picture!

Ann
Last edited by Ann on Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by geckzilla » Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:41 am

Cute lil' teapot, too.
teapot.jpg
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Re: APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:35 am

geckzilla wrote:Cute lil' teapot, too.
teapot.jpg
It's the most attractive part of the sky too. Ever since learning that our home galaxy's central Supermassive Black Hole is located in the dark area to the right of the "cute lil' teapot's" spout that's where my eyes are drawn whenever this part of the Milky Way is visible. I know that Sagittarius A* is invisible, but still I keep checking it out every time I can. It's as if the pull of it's 4.3 million sun mass attracts the eyes of my imagination.

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Re: APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by eaglekepr » Sat Jun 14, 2014 7:58 am

As one who's frequently tried (and mostly failed) at airplane window astrophotorgraphy, this is an amazing capture. I've never had a smooth enough flight!

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Re: APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by JohnD » Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:54 am

Surely that was a 747 fitted with Rolls-Royce engines!

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Re: APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by Nitpicker » Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:16 am

One can imagine that these days, the sight of a passenger doing strange things with an electronic gadget, underneath a blanket, by the window of a 747 in mid flight, might start a panic. I'm glad the photographer didn't worry about that though. A very impressive result for a 10 second exposure.

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Re: APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by Whiskybreath » Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:28 am

Economy class? Are those people back there allowed to see this?

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Re: APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:29 am

Nitpicker wrote:One can imagine that these days, the sight of a passenger doing strange things with an electronic gadget, underneath a blanket, by the window of a 747 in mid flight, might start a panic. I'm glad the photographer didn't worry about that though. A very impressive result for a 10 second exposure.
All very true Nitpicker, and it makes me wish to hear the rest of the story. To the photographer, very well done and congratulations! I hope you read these appreciative comments, and, if you don't mind, please share with us more about your most successful fight. Did you have to explain what you were doing to your fellow passengers, flight crew, etc.?
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Re: APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by ALEXx360 » Sat Jun 14, 2014 1:54 pm

Thanks everyone, it's my first APOD and I'm really happy for this.
The story is not very long :D .
I took the flight at 11:30 PM (was scheduled for 9:30 but it was in delay), luckily I had a seat in the right side, near the window, so I could see the Milky Way.
The shot was obviously premeditated, but I was not sure it was possible, I used the fastest lens I had (Canon 28 f1.8), ISO 1600 (pushed to 6400 iso in post processing) and 10 seconds of exposure.
To fixing the Canon I used the Gorillapod inserted between the armrest and the fuselage.
For the reflections I used the blanket of British Airways, building a kind of antireflection blockhouse :mrgreen: .
I took over 90 pictures of which only one is good.
No problem with the crew, or with the other passengers, the plane was almost empty and almost everyone was asleep :wink: .

Thaks

Alex

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Re: APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by astrobuster » Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:07 pm

that pic looks faked to me.

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Re: APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by ALEXx360 » Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:23 pm

astrobuster wrote:that pic looks faked to me.
I uploaded tha RAW files here for those who have doubts :wink:
https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=3 ... oto%2c.CR2

No problem, I have 92 more image like this but blurred

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Re: APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:25 pm

ALEXx360 wrote:I used the fastest lens I had (Canon 28 f1.8), ISO 1600 (pushed to 6400 iso in post processing) and 10 seconds of exposure.
That terminology is confusing. With a digital camera, you can't adjust the ISO after you've made the image. The ISO value of a camera refers to a hardware gain setting applied between the sensor output and the digitizer. It has an impact on the signal-to-noise ratio. While you can boost the signal in post processing to make a brighter image, you boost the noise exactly the same amount- quite different from what happens when you actually shoot at a higher ISO setting.

"Pushing" the ISO only makes sense in terms of film, not electronic image sensors.
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Re: APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by ALEXx360 » Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:50 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
ALEXx360 wrote:I used the fastest lens I had (Canon 28 f1.8), ISO 1600 (pushed to 6400 iso in post processing) and 10 seconds of exposure.
That terminology is confusing. With a digital camera, you can't adjust the ISO after you've made the image. The ISO value of a camera refers to a hardware gain setting applied between the sensor output and the digitizer. It has an impact on the signal-to-noise ratio. While you can boost the signal in post processing to make a brighter image, you boost the noise exactly the same amount- quite different from what happens when you actually shoot at a higher ISO setting.

"Pushing" the ISO only makes sense in terms of film, not electronic image sensors.
Sorry if I have explained myself badly, my English is not so good :wink:
I mean, in Camera RAW (photoshop) I pushed the exposure to 2, the result is very similar at the result I would have been obtained if I could use the HI ISO setting in my Camera.
Is not a real ISO but a digital iso

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Re: APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by Boomer12k » Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:25 pm

QUESTION....What is the "blue sheen" off of the wing??????


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Re: APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by geckzilla » Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:49 pm

A navigation light?
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Re: APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by geckzilla » Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:17 pm

Alex has provided the original RAW file, here, for anyone interested.
http://asterisk.apod.com/library/asteri ... -02514.CR2

This is a JPEG image for preview.
EOS-II-02514.jpg
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Re: APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by geckzilla » Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:21 pm

What I thought was light scattering from the plane's window was actually part of post processing, it seems.
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Re: APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by lawebber » Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:23 pm

I noticed the description gave the altitude as "11,0000 meters". Did everyone get their astronauts' wings? :wink:

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Re: APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by geckzilla » Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:24 pm

lawebber wrote:I noticed the description gave the altitude as "11,0000 meters". Did everyone get their astronauts' wings? :wink:
Thanks, yeah, it was fixed here at the forum last night but not yet at the APOD description. The editors have been notified.
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Re: APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by Boomer12k » Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:47 pm

geckzilla wrote:A navigation light?

Seems plausible....but starboard wing nav lights are green...but it could be just the photo....

And that is a Star---board wing if ever there was one.... :D

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Re: APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by neufer » Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:14 pm

geckzilla wrote:
lawebber wrote:
I noticed the description gave the altitude as "11,0000 meters". Did everyone get their astronauts' wings? :wink:
Thanks, yeah, it was fixed here at the forum last night but not yet at the APOD description. The editors have been notified.
:?: "The Kármán line, or Karman line, lies at an altitude of 100,000 meters above the Earth's sea level, and commonly represents the boundary between the Earth's atmosphere and outer space."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Atlantic_Tracks wrote:
<<North Atlantic Tracks (NAT) are trans-Atlantic routes that stretch from the northeast of North America to western Europe across the Atlantic Ocean. They ensure aircraft are separated over the ocean, where there is little radar coverage. These heavily-traveled routes are used by aircraft traveling between North America and Europe, flying between the altitudes of 29,000 feet (8,840 meters) and 41,000 feet (12,500 meters) inclusive. Entrance and movement along these tracks is controlled by special Oceanic Center air traffic controllers to maintain separation between airplanes. The primary purpose of these routes is to provide a Minimum Time Route (MTR). They are aligned in such a way as to minimize any head winds and maximize tail winds impact on the aircraft. This results in much more efficiency by reducing fuel burn and flight time. To make such efficiencies possible, the routes are created twice daily to take account of the shifting of the winds aloft and the principal traffic flow, eastward in North America evening and westward twelve hours later.>>
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Re: APOD: New York to London Milky Way (2014 Jun 14)

Post by geckzilla » Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:23 pm

Fourth zero tacked on the end.
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