The winter Milky Way above Muránska Planina

Zbojská, Muránska Planina

After a pretty boring winter stay at our chalet, I decided to go out to nature. After all, we were staying close to one of the darkest places in Slovakia, the Muránska Planina national park. And so, during night, we went out with our car. The closer we got, the less promising it looked… first some pretty dense high clouds appeared, but just an hour or so from our destination, fog started to appear, and it always got denser and denser. However, just a few minutes away from the destination, the fog started to magically disappear, and it revealed something spectacular – the cosmos, with thousands of stars, the Milky Way and many nebulae. I was pleasantly surprised that even the Barnard’s loop nebula was faintly visible on the camera display. It wouldn’t be far off to say that that night was amazing.

Po pomerne nudnej zimnej dovolenke na našej chate som sa rozhodol ísť do prírody. Bývali sme tam predsa neďaleko jedného z najtmavších miest na Slovensku, národného parku Muránska Planina. A tak sme počas noci vyrazili s autom. Čím bližšie sme sa dostali, tým menej sľubne to vyzeralo… Najskôr sa objavila vcelku hustá vysoká oblačnosť, ale približne hodinu od našej destinácie sa objavila aj hmla, ktorá sa neustále zhusťovala. Našťastie len pár minút od destinácie hmla magicky zmizla, a ukázala nám niečo dychberúce – kozmos, s tisíckami hviezd, Mliečnou Dráhou a mnoho hmlovinami. Bol som príjemne prekvapený že sa na displeji kamery objavil dokonca i Barnardov oblúk. Nebolo by ďaleko od pravdy povedať, že tá noc bola úžasná.

Canon 6D, Samyang 14mm f1.4 @ f2, 15X27s pano from tripod, ISO6400

Geminids in Domaniža

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This year, the Geminid meteor shower observation in Slovakia was surprisingly successful. After all, what could be better than a clear moonless night with more than a hundred interplanetary rocks flying through the Earth’s atmosphere, shining brightly and colorfully? There’s exactly 4 meteors in this picture, can you find them? Taken near the Domaniža village in Slovakia. Also visible is the relatively strong orange airglow.

Tento rok bolo pozorovanie Geminidov na Slovensku prekvapivo úspešné. Predsa čo môže byť lepšie než bezoblačná a bezmesačná noc s viac než stovkou medziplanetárnych kameňov prelietajúcich zemskou atmosférou, svietiacich jasne a farebne? Na snímku sú štyri meteory, dokážete ich nájsť? Odfotené v Domaniži na Slovensku. Taktiež viditeľné je pomerne silné oranžové airglow.

Canon 6D, Sigma f3.5 24mm, 20s, ISO6400

The Moon isn’t a boring grey rock…

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EN: Who could’ve guessed the Moon is actually a very interesting and colorful place? Our eyes aren’t very sensitive to subtle differences in color, but where our eyes leave, cameras come in. Using even an amateur camera, one can see the beauty of the Lunar surface. Once the saturation is boosted, many beautiful color spots pop up, telling us about the actual chemical composition of the surface and the differences between different regions.
SK: Kto by tušil že Mesiac je tak zaujímavé a pestrofarebné miesto? Naše oči síce nie sú veľmi citlivé na jemné farebné rozdiely, tam kde sú ale naše oči nepoužiteľné kamery vynikajú. I s použitím lacného amatérskeho fotoaparátu môžeme pozorovať krásy mesačného povrchu. Po zvýšení saturácie vynikne mnoho prekrásnych farebných oblastí, pričom nám farby hovoria o chemickom zložení jeho povrchu a rozdielov medzi rôznymi regiónmi.

3rd Nov. 2017, C9.25 XLT, Canon EOS 6D

A Hole into the Autumn Sky

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The most amazing part of the night sky, the summer Milky Way, is slowly setting behind the horizon leaving the sky to the autumn and winter Milky Way, which are considered a lot more boring. However, on the autumn sky, you will find to bright galaxies, the M31 and M33 galaxies and on the winter sky, many emission nebulae are present.

Taken on 1st September, Canon 6D unmod., Sigma 24-70mm @ 24mm, 29x10s pano from tripod, ISO8000, f2.8

Low Tatras, Slovakia

Winter is Coming

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To be honest, I am already a bit bored with the summer sky and short nights. But winter is slowly comming, and it’s bringing longer nights and the winter sky with it. I unfortunately shot each field in this panorama for only about 1 minute, so the foreground is really noisy and dark.

Taken on 1st September 2017, Canon 6D unmod., Sigma 24-70mm @ 24mm, 46x15s panorama from tripod, ISO8000, f2.8

Continental Drift

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If a galaxy is considered a stellar island, then a galaxy as big as the Andromeda galaxy must surely be a stellar continent. The Andromeda galaxy, designated M31 is the biggest galaxy in our local group. It’s about 220000 light years across, which means that it takes light to travel from the one end of the galaxy to the other whole 220000 years! In about 4.5 billion years from now, the Andromeda galaxy will drift towards us so much that the Milky Way will collide with it, forming the galaxy informally called Milkomeda.

Data: Jiří Žáček

A Long Lost Giant

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Once a prospering and bright dot in the sky, only a faint cloud is remaining of it now. About 4500 BC, a gigantic star much more massive than our Sun exploded in a huge explosion, a supernova. The leftover is a relatively bright stellar ghost, a supernova remnant, called the Veil nebula. There are multiple brighter parts, this one being known as the Eastern Veil nebula, designated NGC6995.

150/600 Newton, Canon 350D, 4484s total exposure time, ISO1600, Data: Marián Mičúch

A Galactic Glutton

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Deep inside our Galaxy, at its core, about 25000 light years from us, a gigantic glutton resides, destroying anything that comes too close to it. Many daring stars orbit it, some so closely that it takes only a few years to circle the black hole, Sagittarius A*. This exact part of the sky is however hidden in the visible spectrum by many dark nebulae spanning the Milky Way, called together the Great Rift.

20th July 2017, Canon 6D unmod, Sigma 24-70mm, 272s total exposure time from tripod, ISO8000, f2.8, Data: imaged by me

Quiet Perseids

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A night during the perseid shower, lots of stars above, astronomers on the ground and… bad luck! Yes, meteor showers are always nice to look at, but bad luck is bad luck. I made so many images, hundreds of them, yet during all of the clear nights, I only got two nice meteors. Among the objects on the image are the Lagoon nebula, the Trifid nebula, the Omega nebula, the Eagle nebula, the North American nebula, the Sagittarius Star Cloud and the Andromeda galaxy.

Taken on 14th August 2017, Canon 6D unmod., Sigma 24-70mm @ 24mm, 30x15s panorama from tripod, ISO8000, f2.8

Vrchteplá, Slovakia