Contains:  Extremely wide field
Between the Eagle and the Scorpion, 


            Maxime Oudoux

Between the Eagle and the Scorpion

Between the Eagle and the Scorpion, 


            Maxime Oudoux

Between the Eagle and the Scorpion

Acquisition details

Aug. 11, 2018
Avg. Moon age:
0.10 days
Avg. Moon phase:

Basic astrometry details job: 2468473

Resolution: 1824x1026

File size: 1.4 MB

Data source: Traveller


The Milky Way has become a "must have" in pictures of the night sky; but what does it look like in more detail, especially at its galactic center, from Europe?

This image, taken in August 2018 from the Col de Restefond in the Hautes Alpes (France) at more than 2800m above sea level, presents its portion between the constellation of Eagle (left) and Scorpion (right); the 2 constellations are barely visible for technical reasons and position: the Scorpion plunged under the horizon and the Eagle was out of range at the end of the night.

A multitude of celestial objects can be observed : Lagoon, Trifid, Omega, Eagle nabula (the 4 colored shapes towards the center-right), dark structures as the "E of Bernard" (lower left, above the blue star, which is Altaïr), globular clusters ... and even Saturn, next to the Lagoon nebula !

What strikes our mind here is the difference in color between the very colorful and luminous background of the Milky Way, composed of millions of stars in this place (very easily) and all these black areas, sprawling, like ink stains spilled on the bottom of the sky. The Milky Way is full of gas and dust: these are the elements that opacify our galaxy from our point of view.

On the technical side, this image is quite complex. It is composed of more than 60 photos taken in a different angle to recompose this extremely wide field, but particularly defined: I used the Samyang 135mm f/2 to have the ideal deal between definition of image and practical side. You can zoom in on the image ! ;)

The shooting took place in one night, just after the astronomical twilight, and ended shortly before the first light of day. More than 5 hours spent moving the device slightly on the panoramic head mounted on the Astrotrac every 3 minutes, without any interruption! I could not capture the Milky Way to the Swan constellation (and nebulae in this area) because of the rising sun.

No stacking, no dark, flat or offset here. Only 3 minutes of poses are enough ... but a sky of "high altitude", a Nikon D750 Astrodon, a Samyang 135mm f/2, an sturdy equipment (tripod, mount and head), and time spent on software to treat everything , assemble and retouch (about 6h, compute time for TIFF generation and panning included on the workstation).

That being said, the sky had a lot of airglow, which is why some areas of the sky are more "opaque" than others.

This image is a first part of a much larger and ambitious project, which will take time, but it will eventually come out one day, I hope.



Between the Eagle and the Scorpion, 


            Maxime Oudoux