Tag: Astrophotography in Greece

Chasing darkness in Greece – Milos

My second expedition after dark skies led us to beautiful island Milos. It’s mid-size island in Aegean see and it belongs to group of islands called Cyclades. The port and whole night life (bars, restaurants, discotheques) are located on the northern part of the island. We stayed on the other part of the island, where are empty, not organized beaches and mainly very low light pollution. To travel there is not straight forward, because Milos has very small airport. Therefore we had to fly to Santorini Island and from there take a ferry to Milos.


M6 Butterfly cluster

M6 is an open cluster located in constellation Scorpius. Visually it’s located not far from horizon, at least from Central Europe; therefore it’s hard to capture this deep space object. The observing/capturing conditions change significantly if you travel to Southern Europe. From there the cluster is visible by naked eye. The stars from similar shape to butterfly, therefore  it got its name. On the bottom side of the cluster is nicely visible red giant (orange star) called BM Scorpii. The background illuminates the Milky Way.

The picture was taken during chasing darkness on Greek island Milos and in total was taken 30 pictures having exposure 180 seconds, i.e. total 90 minutes of integration.

Technical details:

Telescope:Newton 150/600 mm
Aperture:150 mm
Focal length:660 mm
MountiOptron CEM25P
AutoguidingQHYCCD miniGuideScope 130 mm f/4.3, ZWO 174 MM
Camera:ZWO 071 Pro @-10C
Corrector:Explore Scientific HR coma corrector
Filters:Astronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure30x180s, Gain 134, bin 1x1,
Date:2018-09-03

 


Chasing the darkness in Greece on small island Gavdos

I was always dreaming about dark skies, because I live in sub-urban area with relatively strong light pollution. Two friends returned from Gavdos where they spent their summer vacation and told me that they have never seen so many stars in the sky – at that moment I was tempted. One year later I decided to combine our summer vacation (mid Semptember) with chasing of the dark skies. Swimming, snorkeling, hiking during the day and photographing, observing during the night.

We have been to Greece already, so we knew what to expect – beautiful beaches, people with great hospitality and tourists everywhere. But Gavdos is something different. It is a small island south from Crete. The island is the southernmost point of the entire European continent, which is optimal for astrophotography, because the deep space objects, which are near to the horizon in Switzerland, are 12° upper in the sky. Only few people live on Gavdos, which means there is no light pollution compared to other Greek islands. There are neither big hotels, discotheques nor organized beaches. On the other hand there are places where you can sleep and there are many taverns where you can get something delicious. Moreover in all taverns is a Wi-Fi. Electricity is mostly produced by the solar panels and stored in the batteries and some taverns use generators, so there is electricity available whole night. This means you don’t have to carry heavy batteries to power the mount or camera cooling with you.