Astrophotography from La Palma - The Coma Galaxy Cluster - Tacande Observatory


Date2017/04/13
LocationLa Palma / Spain
ObjectComa galaxy cluster
CameraModified Canon EOS6D
Guidingyes
TelescopeR120S / 120mm
Barlow lensnone
MountEQ6 Syntrek
Cooling-
Luminance6x RGB frame / 240s
Red-
Green-
Blue-
Dark5x
Flat-
Total exposure~24m
Tonight I again spent the night at the Tacande Observatory on La Palma. There we observed the Coma galaxy cluster. The result is this photo taken with a modified EOS6D camera.

For post-processing I used the free software DeepSkyStacker and GIMP. The full resolution images is available here.

Clear skies!

Open Cluster Messier 46

This image of Messier 46 has also been taken at the Tacande Observatory in El Paso on La Palma. In fact this is a quite rare object in the sense that it is a star cluster with a planetary nebula. The nebula somehow looks like an eye in the nowhere of space. The image shown above is just an excerpt of the full frame. It is only one 4 minute shot with a modified EOS6D camera with ISO 800. The image is also available in full resolution here.

Stars above La Palma

Recently I had the chance to contribute an article about astronomy to the La Palma Para Ti magazine. In this article I write about my impressions and emotions when I was visiting Roque de Los Muchachos - the highest point on La Plama - at night. The title picture of the article is the Great Orion nebula (M42) which is one of my favorite pictures. I imaged it back in February 2014. If you are on La Palma, I recommend you to visit "El Roque" in a clear and moonless night (see also my previous article) - you will be surprised 🙂
Last updated: February 6, 2016 at 19:01 pm


Day and Night on La Palma - The highlights from my last La Palma holiday

On my last La Palma holiday I did lots of experiments with my X-T1 camera. This time I was especially looking into time-lapsing. The result is "Day and Night on La Palma" - a 5 minute video about this beautiful island. To me, La Palma is the perfect place for doing this kind of videos. In this short video I want to show the highlights of my last holiday. Lots of stars, clouds and sunsets... 🙂 In order to make this video I visited many different places of the island. Some of them were Roque de Los Muchachos, Mirador del Jable, Mirador del Time and Pico Birigoyo. The music title "Worlds" has been composed by Jacob Tyler. I found it on www.soundcloud.com. I hope you enjoy the video 🙂



For those who are interested in technical details: Most of the time-lapse recordings have been taken with the Fujifilm X-T1. My self-made 12V power adaptor was sometimes quite helpful. On the camera everything was set to manual (despite a few recordings with aperture priority).

The whole time-lapse post-processing I did on Linux (parts of this tutorial I found very useful). First, I developed the RAW images from the camera using the open source tool rawtherapee. In order to reduce flickering I used this deflickering script developed by Vangelis Tasoulas to reduce the flickering. In case the recorded time-lapse was too short, I used the free open source tool slowmoVideo (developed by Simon A. Eugster) to interpolate additional frames. Finally, I used kdenlive for creating and cutting the videos. Previously I used openshot but at this point in time kdenlive seems to be more stable.

One remark regarding the Fujifilm X-T1 and time-lapse recording: Sometimes I had problems with the X-T1 when the time between the frames was too short (< 3s). It introduced random delays of up to several seconds so that the images taken were not recorded at the same interval. This resulted in videos which did not play smooth. Increasing the time between the frames resolved this problem. Probably the camera did not finish writing the previous image to the SD card. After some research I found that this is probably a fragmentation problem of the SD card. Using high quality SD cards and formatting the card prior to its usage should help in the future.

Last updated: July 31, 2016 at 15:32 pm