Even in bright moonlight, astrophotographer Justin Ng captures amazing shots of the Milky Way. Here’s one from May 6, during the peak of a meteor shower.
Justin Ng wrote to EarthSky, with this photo attached. He captured it on May 6, 2015 at 5:30 a.m. local time in East Java, Indonesia. He wrote:
Just led my first full moon astrophotography expedition to Mount Bromo, one of the active volcanoes in Indonesia. It would have been easier to unveil the Milky Way against the bright moon on our first night there, but the sky was cloudy and we could only do this on our last night, which was more challenging as the bright moon was located nearer to the Milky Way’s galactic center.
The moon and Saturn made a close approach on May 6, passing just within 2° of each other, at around 35° above horizon at 5.30am (GMT +7). It was a cold night, and alsowhen the Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaked. The large and bright waning gibbous moon, with its illumination at 97%, managed to obscure both the Eta Aquarid meteor shower and the spectacular Milky Way. Although I was able to see a few faint Eta Aquarid meteors on that night, I was unable to see the Milky Way with my unaided eye because the bright moon was so close!
Nonetheless, using the method that I have shared in this tutorial, I managed to unveil the Milky Way that’s obscured by the moon.
So it’s still possible to unveil the Milky Way against a large and bright moon! Give it a try.
Justin pointed out that the circular feature in the photo – on the lower left side – was not a real object in the sky over Mount Bromo. It’s an internal reflection from his camera, known as a lens flare, often seen (although usually not so beautifully!) in photos of bright objects like the sun and moon.
Thank you, Justin!
Bottom line: Milky Way in bright moonlight, by Justin Ng of Singapore.
It’s 7,500 light years away, in the Perseus Arm of our Milky Way galaxy, in the direction to the constellation Cassiopeia the Queen.
Our friend Justin Ng sent in this photo of IC 1805 – otherwise known as the Heart Nebula – on this Valentine’s Day 2015. It’s an emission nebula with glowing gas and darker dust lanes, located some 7,500 light years away, in the Perseus Arm of our Milky Way galaxy, in the direction to the constellation Cassiopeia the Queen.
Thank you, Justin Ng!
To all who celebrate it, happy Valentine’s Day 2015!
Wow! Comet Lovejoy is really living up to its name! A wonderful December 29 photo from Justin Ng of Singapore and a link below to how you can see the comet.
Have you seen Comet Lovejoy yet? Although telescopes and binoculars are still the best way to find and view the comet, it’s now barely within the limit for visibility with the unaided eye under exceptional viewing conditions. Justin Ng of Singapore took this fine photo. He wrote:
I would like to suggest an image of Comet Lovejoy that I’ve just taken on 29 December 2014 at around 12.30 AM SGT. This is a LRGB image with a total exposure time of 12 minutes. A spiral galaxy, NGC1886, is also visible in the image, located on the left of the comet’s coma.