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Deep space, deep in the forest

There are tons of photos of the Milky Way on its own, but I find that including the foreground gives a different perspective.

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Imagine that in this single frame you are looking at about half of the 200 billion stars (our Sun is one of them) in our Galaxy.

 

That is, if you were to count them and if you could do 100 a second (100, 200, 300, ...) it would take no less than 30 years to count them all!

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People are asking how to take photos like this, so here's how it was done;

 

1) The foreground is a several minute exposure with a 18mm lens, f/8, ISO 200.

2) The stars alone (and the meteor) is a vertical panorama, 3 shots at 18mm,f/5.6, ISO 800, 30sec (actually 5 of them stacked for noise reduction for every part of the panorama).

3) Finally, the Galaxy is a stitched panorama, made of 8 sets of 5 photos each, 50mm, f/1.8, 5sec ISO3200, with each set of 5 stacked for noise reduction.

The shutter speed is limited to around 5-7sec for a 50mm lens, so that stars don't register as circles due to Earth's rotation (and almost 30sec for wide angles), hence the high ISO used.

That's a total of 57 shots combined...

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Taken on August 31, 2010