Photographer Spends 12 Years, 1250 Hours, Exposing Photo of Milky Way

Finnish astrophotographer J-P Metsavainio has launched a Milky Way photograph that took him almost 12 years to create. The 1.7-gigapixel picture has a cumulative publicity time of 1,250 hours.

Observe: Click on the pictures on this article to see them at a bigger decision.

Metsavainio started capturing for the mission again in 2009. For the following 12 years, he centered on completely different areas and objects within the Milky Way, capturing stitched mosaics of them as particular person artworks. To finish the ultra-high-resolution view of the Milky Way as a complete, Metsavainio then got down to fill within the gaps that weren’t lined by his authentic artworks.

“I feel this can be a first picture ever displaying the Milky Way on this decision and depth in any respect three coloration channels (H-a, S-II, and O-III),” Metsavainio tells PetaPixel.

The photograph is 100,000 pixels large and includes 234 particular person panels stitched collectively.

The photograph spans 125 levels of the sky, from Taurus to Cygnus, and exhibits about 20 million seen stars.

“My processing workflow may be very fixed so little or no tweaking was wanted between the mosaic frames,” Metsavainio writes. “Whole publicity time is over 1250 hours. Some of the frames have extra publicity time than others.”

Metsavainio’s tools modified a bit over time.

“As much as 2014 I used to be utilizing an previous Meade LX200 GPS 12″ scope, QHY9 astrocam, Canon EF 200mm f/1.8 digicam optics and Baader narrowband filter set,” he writes. “After 2014, I’ve had 10-micron 1000 equatorial mount, Apogee Alta U16 astro digicam, Tokina AT-X 200mm f/2.8 digicam lens and the Astrodon 50mm sq. narrowband filter set.

“I’ve shot many particulars with an extended focal size, earlier than 2014 through the use of Meade 12″ scope with reducer and after 2014 Celestron EDGE 11″ and reducer. Quider digicam has been Lodestar and Lodestar II.”

All of the mosaic work is finished in Photoshop. Metsavainio does the “easy work” of matching the separate panels utilizing shared stars to align them.

“My processing has grow to be so fixed, that little or no tweaking is required between separate frames,” he writes, “just a few minor ranges, curves, and coloration steadiness.”

A have a look at particular person artworks that went into the ultimate gigapixel photograph of the Milky Way.

Listed here are a number of of the person artworks that may be seen inside very small areas of the finished photograph:

The California Nebula, NGC 1499, will be seen at backside left of the massive mosaic picture.
A closeup from the principle picture exhibits the Sharpless 124 at up and the Cocoon nebula with a darkish gasoline stream at backside.
The Tulip Nebula, Sh2-101, will be seen at middle proper, there’s additionally a black gap Cygnus X-1

You could find extra of Metsavainio’s work on his website and Facebook.

Picture credit: Pictures by J-P Metsavainio and used with permission

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