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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Astronomy & Celestial Talk 
Thread started 03 Feb 2016 (Wednesday) 05:44
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Milky Way in Maldives - what time of night in February?

 
GoHokiesGo
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Post edited over 5 years ago by GoHokiesGo.
     
Feb 03, 2016 05:44 |  #1

Hello all - I'm lucky enough to sneak away to the Maldives for a few nights next week, definitely excited! I'm hoping to spend a few nights shooting astro of the stars and milky way while I'm there. I've read a few of the guides that mention apps for your phone, but I've never had the best of luck with the free ones to actually locate the milky way (likely user error since I'm rarely in a dark enough spot to learn to use them). Is there anywhere on the web that I can find out what time of night the milky way should be visible?

My understanding is that:

  • in February I won't be able to see the core, or just barely entering the season in Southern hemisphere, but I should still be able to see bands
  • I should be looking south
  • new moon is preferable, which we'll be in between new moon and first quarter

however, is there an optimal time of night that I'll be able to see it best? Midnight, 2am, 4am, etc? Is it visible at all hours of night once its dark?

I'm planning to trip to New Zealand in April where I really want some nice night astro shots, so I'm hoping for this to be a warm-up as far as learning the basics for shooting the milky way. This trip will be the first time I've been in a dark sky location when it wasn't right in the middle of the full moon.

Thanks!

~Jason
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TCampbell
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Feb 03, 2016 23:01 |  #2

The most dramatic part of the Milky Way is visible from the Maldives at around 5am looking Southeast (you may even be able to see it by 4am if you have a clear view to the horizon and the air is transparent (low humidity))... but you won't have much time. It'll continue to look good through about 5:30am.

Sunrise is around 6:50am... but the pre-dawn twilight will start to show up sometime around 5:40am. By 6am you'll have quite a bit of pre-dawn twilight.

In the early part of the night the Milky Way will loop from southeast to northwest... but this is the weaker side -- the side facing toward the outer edge of the galaxy. That part will be setting around 3am and the part facing toward the center of the galaxy (in the direction of the Sagittarius constellation) will start to rise (but will be on the horizon... you have to give it a little time to get up in the sky).




  
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GoHokiesGo
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Feb 04, 2016 05:17 |  #3

TCampbell wrote in post #17885201 (external link)
The most dramatic part of the Milky Way is visible from the Maldives at around 5am looking Southeast (you may even be able to see it by 4am if you have a clear view to the horizon and the air is transparent (low humidity))... but you won't have much time. It'll continue to look good through about 5:30am.

Sunrise is around 6:50am... but the pre-dawn twilight will start to show up sometime around 5:40am. By 6am you'll have quite a bit of pre-dawn twilight.

In the early part of the night the Milky Way will loop from southeast to northwest... but this is the weaker side -- the side facing toward the outer edge of the galaxy. That part will be setting around 3am and the part facing toward the center of the galaxy (in the direction of the Sagittarius constellation) will start to rise (but will be on the horizon... you have to give it a little time to get up in the sky).

Thank you kindly for the info - that's fantastic and just the info I was looking for! I do know that I can use google sky map to help me locate Sagittarius, so I can use that information to help tell me roughly where it is rising from the horizon. Thank you again for the info, as it will keep me from having to spend the entire night searching for the MW.


~Jason
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Canon16-35/4LIS -¤- Canon 24-105/4LIS -¤- Canon 135/2L -¤- Canon 70-200/4L
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Niteclicks
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Feb 04, 2016 15:44 |  #4

You didn't say what phone , but there is Stellarium for android. I have used the pc version for years to plan and the android ver is very fast on my nexus 7.




  
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Feb 05, 2016 00:08 |  #5

Niteclicks wrote in post #17886068 (external link)
You didn't say what phone , but there is Stellarium for android. I have used the pc version for years to plan and the android ver is very fast on my nexus 7.

Second this, you can see where the core is from any location on earth on any given date. http://www.stellarium.​org/ (external link)




  
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GoHokiesGo
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Feb 07, 2016 06:34 |  #6

I have both options actually, Android and iPhone (personal and work phone), so apps for both platforms are an option.

I was looking for a free app or tips to locate the core since I'm rarely in a location with dark enough skies. In the past I avoided Stellarium on my phone since it wasn't free, and Google sky map had most other options; however, checking again today I realized that it's only $2.49, which is dirt cheap! That's plenty worth it to help plan out my night time shots, so I think that solves the issue for me. I went ahead and added it to my android phone to help simplify finding and timing the milky way.

Thanks for the tip and for getting me to check again, and making me wonder why on earth I didn't buy it sooner...


~Jason
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Feb 08, 2016 07:07 |  #7

GoHokiesGo wrote in post #17888979 (external link)
I have both options actually, Android and iPhone (personal and work phone), so apps for both platforms are an option.

I was looking for a free app or tips to locate the core since I'm rarely in a location with dark enough skies. In the past I avoided Stellarium on my phone since it wasn't free, and Google sky map had most other options; however, checking again today I realized that it's only $2.49, which is dirt cheap! That's plenty worth it to help plan out my night time shots, so I think that solves the issue for me. I went ahead and added it to my android phone to help simplify finding and timing the milky way.

Thanks for the tip and for getting me to check again, and making me wonder why on earth I didn't buy it sooner...


It's much better on pc/mac/linux than a mobile device but it's still really useful for locating the milky way core and knowing what time it will rise and what phase the moon is in as well as if the moon will be below the horizon at a given time. I like setting the brightness of the milky way up to 5-7 in the advanced settings, it just makes it easier to see when the core is rising, specially if you turn off the atmosphere and ground.




  
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TCampbell
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Feb 09, 2016 13:17 |  #8

The app that I (and probably most of my astronomer friends) use on a mobile device is Sky Safari. There are three versions... the basic, the "Plus" version and the "Pro" version. They recently released the new Sky Safari 5 on iOS, but not yet on Android (that's still Sky Safari 4) but when they do, they typically offer the software at half price for the first 30 days.

The "full" price of the "pro" (most expensive) is $40... (basically $20 when you get it at half price). The "full" price of the "plus" version is only $15. The basic edition is $3.

Both the "plus" and "pro" edition have some advanced features such as telescope control, they also have the ability to configure equipment lists (your equipment). I use the equipment feature to enter my telescope info (focal length, focal ratio, etc.) as well as each of my camera lenses, and finally my camera bodies (it really just wants to know the sensor dimensions). Using this you can turn on a field-of-view overlay for that equipment and it'll show outline the area of sky that would be visible to your camera (or through a telescope eyepiece) using that combination of gear. This allows me to plan my shots, how I want to orient the camera, etc.

It also uses the phone's compass & gyro to show you what area of sky you are currently looking at -- you can use either to help identify objects or to locate objects.

Having gone through lots of different astronomy apps (both for computers and for smart devices such as iOS and Android phones & tablets) I've come to the conclusion that this is, so far, the best mobile-device app I've found.

Most people would probably be best served by the "Plus" version and don't need to spend the extra for the "Pro" version. I use the "Pro" version, but then I'm also using this with larger aperture telescopes. The "Plus" version has all stars down to about 12th magnitude (about 2.6 million stars) and deep space objects down to about 15th magnitude (a little over 30k objects). But the "Pro" version has stars down to about 15th magnitude (about 27 million stars -- more than 10x more) and deep space objects down to about 18th magnitude (nearly 750k objects -- about more than 20x more). But the reason I don't necessarily recommend the "pro" version for most users is because most users don't have equipment where it would even be possible to see those extra objects (15th magnitude stars are dimmer than the limits of most amateur telescopes and 18th magnitude objects would only show up in very long time-exposures.) In other words, if you're planning to do astro-imaging using camera lenses (not telescopes on tracking mounts) then there's no benefit to the "pro" version -- it just uses a whole lot more space on the device. The "pro" version does have higher solution graphics of many objects than is found in the "plus" version.




  
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GoHokiesGo
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Feb 20, 2016 03:06 |  #9

Hey All-

I just wanted to reply with a nice big THANK YOU!! for the help. I just returned from my week in the Maldives (it was way too short, but amazing!), and the tips and tidbits were a great help.

I woke up 3 nights to shoot the milky way, and was able to see the bands beginning around 4am and the core just after 5am on our island. I got a couple of really cool shots, and this checked off one of my long time photography goals for being able to shoot the milky way!

I need to work on getting sharper shots and cleaning up all the noise in post, but I'll post up a few of the shots in the coming days as I edit my batch of photos from the trip. It was quite awesome to see so many stars and be able to capture them in photos.


~Jason
Canon 6D -¤- Canon 60D
Canon16-35/4LIS -¤- Canon 24-105/4LIS -¤- Canon 135/2L -¤- Canon 70-200/4L
Canon 50/1.8 STM -¤- Sigma 30/1.4 EX -¤- Samyang 14/2.8
Travel Website - Jason Peacott Photography (external link)

  
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TCampbell
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Feb 20, 2016 08:39 as a reply to  @ GoHokiesGo's post |  #10

That sounds fantastic. I'm looking forward to seeing the images.




  
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Sep 26, 2016 21:30 |  #11

GoHokiesGo wrote in post #17905372 (external link)
Hey All-

I just wanted to reply with a nice big THANK YOU!! for the help. I just returned from my week in the Maldives (it was way too short, but amazing!), and the tips and tidbits were a great help.

I woke up 3 nights to shoot the milky way, and was able to see the bands beginning around 4am and the core just after 5am on our island. I got a couple of really cool shots, and this checked off one of my long time photography goals for being able to shoot the milky way!

I need to work on getting sharper shots and cleaning up all the noise in post, but I'll post up a few of the shots in the coming days as I edit my batch of photos from the trip. It was quite awesome to see so many stars and be able to capture them in photos.

How are those photos coming? Did you post them elsewhere?


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Dec 15, 2016 01:57 |  #12

Mudhog79 wrote in post #18141435 (external link)
How are those photos coming? Did you post them elsewhere?

yes, elsewhere :-)

https://photography-on-the.net …/showthread.php​?t=1453932

Dave


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Milky Way in Maldives - what time of night in February?
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