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MrJackDog OP t1_iu2g2ix wrote

Cygnus Setting - Albemarle County, Virginia - October 24, 2022

Cygnus the Swan setting in the West, marking the transition to the Winter constellations taking over from the summer. For this image, I used a hydrogen alpha filter to highlight the enormous area of star birth in this part of the Milky Way. You can see many prominent nebulae in this widefield image, including the Veil Nebula Complex and the North American Nebula.

EXIF - Sky: 45 x 45s RGB, ISO200, f/2.8; 45x60s 6nm Ha filter, ISO800, f/1.4; (replaced Red channel w/ Ha during processing)Land: 1x120s, ISO400, f/1.4

Gear - Sony A7III (Ha Mod by Kolari Vision); Sony 35mmGM; Astronomik 6nm clip-in Ha filter


For more astrophotography, check out my Insta: brennangilmorephoto


cgibsong002 t1_iu337cb wrote

Fantastic image and really cool/unique perspective.


mrtnjv t1_iu2xmsv wrote

I'm not a photographer so i don't understand the specs you listed. how long is the exposure to capture a photo like this? how long before you start to see stars as streaks?


armitage2112 t1_iu33v6j wrote

Ill answer for them. They are using a startracker, meaning the camera rotates at the same rotation of the earth meaning they won't ever get star streaks.

Without a startracker, the wider your lens, the longer you can take a photo for. You can divide 500 by your focal length (lets say 20) and you'll get how long you can shoot in seconds for that focal length, so 500/20 = 25seconds is the longest before you get streaks using a 20mm lens. In practice this is a bit too much in my experience but, it's close enough for napkin math.


RWDPhotos t1_iu3yjv2 wrote

And that’s more to the center of frame too. The edges trail up before the center does.


Madrugada_Eterna t1_iu33lnh wrote

The sky was taken using a tracking mount so the stars won't trail. A separate photo of the landscape was taken and the sky was replaced with the tracked image.

Multiple photos of the sky were taken and stacked together to reduce noise and bring out the the faint details.


wolftamer9 t1_iu51xvc wrote

Man, I've been driving to the mountains on clear nights every once in a while and taken star photos with my dad's camera (and sometimes just my phone), I can't imagine taking to this hobby enough to pay for a proper tripod and camera tracking mount. Let alone, say, an actual telescope with a camera mount or something? That would be cool to have but it doesn't seem worthwhile to buy.


RWDPhotos t1_iu3ytzy wrote

Thing is with these foreground composites is that it creates a false impression, as if to say that’s what that area should look like under perfect circumstances, but the relative fov of the sky shot may not necessarily mix with the foreground, and it all just seems rather arbitrary to include a foreground at that point. Would just rather see the sky comp than an arbitrary foreground add.


MrJackDog OP t1_iu4b0ne wrote

Fair point, and to each their own. Sometimes I’ll just keep the sky alone, but I go to lengths to represent the land and sky as astronomically correct — always same focal length, optics, tripod position — ensuring the final sky integration matches single shot in terms of astronomical position. So, it’s not arbitrary in the sense that this was the landscape under Cygnus as it set on the night I was imaging. It’s not a single shot itself and that is its strength and weakness depending on what you like.


monkeybomb t1_iu4c290 wrote

I'm trying to understand the process a bit. In the pre-composite sky image, do you have a blurry forest? Edit: I should say, pre-composite after stacking the sky images. I'd be interested in seeing a progress video.


MrJackDog OP t1_iu4gome wrote

I didn’t do a video for this shot, but a did a short video of the components of a similar composition. I don’t know if Instagram links work on this sub, but you can see it here:


monkeybomb t1_iu4i6z2 wrote

Awesome, thanks. Looks like fun work.


MrJackDog OP t1_iu4qvdo wrote

thanks, yeah it’s a cool hobby. my other hobby is fishing and I like the aspect of pulling something out of seemingly nothing of both.


RWDPhotos t1_iu4r8td wrote

Well, I mean, kinda like in that instagram link you posted in a different comment, it doesn’t really line up (the sky comp was cropped in a decent amount, so the effective focal lengths were changed). And it can’t really- because of the tracking, so something has to give to fit it in. I think there could be a way to do it where it blends more mildly, but that’s def not your aesthetic.


MrJackDog OP t1_iu4roq5 wrote

The building was cropped at a similar ratio though. But yes, there’s no accounting for taste.


RWDPhotos t1_iu4s6ug wrote

Ok, preference aside, my point being that the sky view isn’t proportional to the foreground. Obviously so, like by 200%. And you’re trying to deny that improportionality. I mean it’s totally fine if you say it’s just part of your aesthetic, but to say that it’s an absolute recreation in terms of proportion is just plain false, which is what I’m arguing on here


MrJackDog OP t1_iu4un9v wrote

well, that’s just incorrect. Both were shot with a 35mm and the two images had the same dimensions. They are in exact proportion.


aawferris t1_iu6u9r1 wrote

Yes!!!! That’s my neck of the woods! Love to see the beauty on display…nice capture!


baddark666 t1_iu33lf4 wrote

Almost heaven..........


BiggusClitusDeuxus t1_iu3g2ii wrote

West Virginia~~


baddark666 t1_iu3gjej wrote

Blue ridge mountains~~~~


throwaway-8088 t1_iu3hjgz wrote

Shenandoah River


baddark666 t1_iu3iru9 wrote

Life is old there


_Peavey t1_iu3qxl5 wrote

older than the trees


tucci007 t1_iu34a3x wrote

Life is old there, older than the trees


RayneMal t1_iu2iy8d wrote

This looks like Vader. The top right looks like his helmet/respirator.


Slurm818 t1_iu2z9cu wrote

Is that Book 2: Hemispheres I see?


TheSuaveLobster t1_iu48kwm wrote

“In the constellation of Cygnus, there lurks a mysterious force, The Black Hole of Cygnus X-1”


Key-Ad-9027 t1_iu4p9ur wrote

Six stars of the Northern Cross

In mourning for their sister’s loss

In a final flash of glory

Nevermore to grace the night.


Jobes16 t1_iu2gz8c wrote

Absolutely incredible, thanks for sharing


malachai926 t1_iu32qrv wrote

In the constellation of Cygnus, there lurks an invisible and mysterious force: the black hole of Cygnus X-1.


Six stars of the northern cross BWAHHHH! in mourning for their sister's loss, in a final flash of glory, nevermore to grace the night.


rumbling noises

...... doooo DOOO do dah DAH!


malachai926 t1_iu3318w wrote

My brother, where do you intend to go tonight? I heard that you missed your connecting flight.... To the blue ridge mountains, over near Tennessee.


octopaws t1_iu39m8n wrote

Link, the blood moon rises


eanda9000 t1_iu2qo0i wrote

I know this is a bit off-topic, but is there a place in Virginia where the naked eye can see the Milkyway? We live in DC and my kids think the sky has 5 stars in it :(. I would drive 6 hours to get to a decent dark site.


MrJackDog OP t1_iu2u308 wrote

There are many places in Virginia to see the Milky Way, although the brightest part (the galactic core) won’t be visible again until Spring. By far the best place within a few hours drive of DC is Highland County, Virginia. A lot of national forest to explore and the darkest skies in East until you get to Maine. Check out and you can see where the darkest parts of the state are. Bortle 4 and below and the Milky Way is clear, even in winter although fainter parts.


mediasamarillas t1_iu3utdt wrote

If you go a bit further west, there are some very unlit counties in the West Virginian Appalachians that make for amazing views of the milky way. I'd name Monroe County and Pocohontas County off the top of my head. I'd expect near Davis, WV there'd be great views too.


Keyboard-King t1_iu31juj wrote

It’s impossible to re-create what is in this photo with the naked eye (it’s heavily edited). Although, less light pollution = more stars than you’d be able to see in a big city (like D.C), however.


MillieBirdie t1_iu3zl48 wrote

In the late 90s-early 2000s I was able to see the milky way on Assateague Island. The area has been developed a bit more since then so I'm not sure if you still can, but the park and beach should still be quite dark.


KiteLeaf t1_iu6fso3 wrote

You still can! Was there a few weeks ago


IAmTheM4ilm4n t1_iu4dxkn wrote

Hook up with NOVAC - Northern Virginia Astronomy Club. They have lots of observing events open to the public.


IndigoGrunt t1_iu496fe wrote

Drove through Virginia to Tennessee and the mountain views near the blue mountains made the drive much more enjoyable. I wish I had more time to drive the parkway, it is definitely on my list for the future.


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Doobie_Princess11 t1_iu2me0e wrote

I live here. Is this picture super edited? I can never seen cool stuff like this with my eyes ☹️


MrJackDog OP t1_iu2nyev wrote

The main difference with this and what you see is not in the editing but the fact that the camera can collect light over time, whereas our eyes can only process light instantaneously.


Alice710 t1_iu3vwq9 wrote

Is that why it's red? We aren't talking about that.


MrJackDog OP t1_iu4bcx7 wrote

The red is because of the specific wavelength of light of hydrogen alpha ions. Most of the Star forming and dying regions of space are awash in hydrogen alpha and so are dominantly red.


Alice710 t1_iu4ef23 wrote

That's wild. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing!


khvojdysko t1_iu3kt5h wrote

portal in 'stranger things' 😂


gleefulSwift t1_iu5o66n wrote

Evertime I see such pictures I wonder if it even true and can I see it myself


AKGBOperative t1_iu62fd3 wrote

So when I look up at the dark night sky, could I ever see something similar to this? It's on my bucketlist


MrJackDog OP t1_iu6n2cn wrote

You cannot see the color like this, but you would be able to see the glow of the Milky Way through the Cygnus region, along with the dark bands of cosmic dust.


IDontLikeRylee t1_iu2yjnr wrote

nice!!! where exactly is this? i've shot from the blue ridge parkway before, wondering if this spot is close to and better than mine


MrJackDog OP t1_iu4bear wrote

This is down in Albemarle County shooting west.


Grantuseyes t1_iu2zkg0 wrote

Chills. These photos always remind me how irrelevant we really are in terms of the universe


Jackal000 t1_iu56na1 wrote

Not true tho we are significant actually. On a scale of 0 (plancks length) to 10( size observable universe. An average human is around a 6. So the universe is smaller than it is larger. Still its unfathomably large tho. However there will be a time that the universe has so much expanded that this statement will be false.


b_vitamin t1_iu2zwln wrote

Yo! Ha looks great!


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snowglobe0 t1_iu32a6a wrote

This literally took my breath away.. wow… what I’d give to see that in person 🥹


tucci007 t1_iu348m1 wrote

Life is old there

Older than the trees


Victier t1_iu37gqx wrote

Wish that were me


EChaseD35 t1_iu3bqrk wrote

Wow, imagine if we could see this with our eyes!


Hephaestus_God t1_iu3bu8j wrote

To think people used to see these orrery much everywhere. smh.


hellorobby t1_iu3ifqt wrote

is this in any way visible to the naked eye


DirtayDane t1_iu3m3ye wrote

Looks like an evil space cloud. Pretty


DrivenAssimilator t1_iu3nyg6 wrote

This is incredibly beautiful.

Also, I can hear the image, "Frame Shift Drive Charging."


_Peavey t1_iu3qvbn wrote

I hope it's Shenandoah River. 10/10.


yash13 t1_iu3ulyx wrote

Unreal colors. My first thought was that it's photoshopped.


MrJackDog OP t1_iu4bipo wrote

The red in particular come from the use of the H alpha filter.


sac02052 t1_iu3vry0 wrote

should be in /r/spaceporn


you_always_do t1_iu42ss2 wrote

What do you see with the naked eye?


dhoepp t1_iu44bjj wrote

What time did you take this?


DOMZZAS t1_iu45879 wrote

Hold on csn you see this with The naked eye or is this from a telescope


StayTheHand t1_iu47gf5 wrote

Upvote for my favorite constellation.


Denseflea t1_iu4bxgb wrote

If you look closely, you can see it as a man facing towards you but running backwards.


Unicorny_as_funk t1_iu4dobd wrote

I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure I used to see this when I lived in WV. Of course, it looked like a weird cloud-shaped glowing spot in the night sky. Nothing compared to this. But it was still really cool


emkay99 t1_iu4jy2h wrote

I've always been amused by the way photos of our galaxy are nearly always presented as if it were a far-away object, like some star. When actually, the photos are necessarily taken from the inside, since Earth's system is a part of the Milky Way.


Roboticsammy t1_iu4k2l5 wrote

That part of the galaxy seems as if it's been taken over by an ancient evil, and we're just sitting here looking at it in awe!


honey_rainbow t1_iu4rd5f wrote

I am at a loss for words as to how truly beautiful this is.


WhiteWolf1005 t1_iu4xrid wrote

That's breathtaking FR. Where in VA I'm in Virginia too. And near the blue ridge mountains.


persuasian t1_iu4xrs2 wrote

This is gorgeous. One of the few things I miss about living in Albemarle.


i_icical t1_iu4ycgq wrote

What a beautiful place 😍


Alpha_Tan t1_iu55mmt wrote

Great shot(s) and fantastic colours.


alexiamr t1_iu5a8au wrote



CoQ11 t1_iu5c92s wrote

Anyone know what that bright red dot is at the bottom of the formation? Or what star it is?


MrJackDog OP t1_iu5e57z wrote

It is an emissions nebula known as NGC 6820, close to an open cluster of stars around 6000 light years away.


brmR01 t1_iu5ifzp wrote

More beauty out there than down here


ChiefFirestarter t1_iu64575 wrote

WOW that's amazing! I'm guessing this is some kind of long exposure?


merrymarymarried t1_iu64zpm wrote

That is absolutely stunning. Sometimes I'm so mesmerized by the beauty


drelll24 t1_iu6rjju wrote

Es impresionante lo bello que es nuestro universo


NCtoDFW t1_iu6zzae wrote