Milky Way Above The Algarve Hills

Last night at 10:45pm I headed north, deeper into the Algarve Hills to one of my favourite locations, an Abandoned Windmill near Fitos.

This was the time that the Galactic Core of the Milky Way would be visible in the sky. On arrival, I soon realised that I wouldn’t be able to get the shot I had hoped. To get the Windmill in frame, I would have to be lower down the hillside than the height of the windmill. Also, the distant bright lights from the Algarve Coastal Holiday resorts would create a glow. However, as I had made the trek, I decided to get some shots and head back.

Although not what I was hoping for, here is the shot I managed.

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Milky Way Above An Abandoned Windmill In the Algarve Hills
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Milky Way Over The Barragem de Odelouca

Before the Galactic Core of the Milky way dips below the horizon for the Winter months, I thought I’d get out and grab a photo, continue reading below if you are interested in how I planned for the shot.

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Galaxy Over Lake - D810, AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 14mm, f/2.8, ISO3200, 20sec - {Flickr Link}

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Perseids Meteor Shower 2017

The Perseids Meteor Shower is a yearly event in August as the Earth travels through the dust left behind by the Comet Swift-Tuttle as it orbits the Earth.

This year, the peak time was 1am on the 13th August, however, the bright Moon in the sky was going to wash out most of the visible Meteors and make photography a little tricky. Therefore, I decided to set the camera up and point North East towards the Perseus Constellation (where the shower gains it’s name) before Moon rise to capture some of the early starters.

The image below is the best of the bunch. If you look closely, you can actually see 3 Meteors that burnt up within this 20 second exposure. It’s amazing to think that these bright “shooting stars” are dust the size of a grain of sand!

What I love about this shot is not only is the Milky Way clearly evident, but also the Andromeda Galaxy is showing herself off too!

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Persieds Meteors - D810, AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 14mm, f/3.2, ISO3200, 20sec - {Flickr Link}
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Milky Way and Palm

The Milky Way is visible to the naked eye from our garden right now, so I thought I’d point the camera up and see what it would pick up.

Ok, not exactly award winning Astro-Photography but it goes to show how little light pollution there is here in the hills of the Algarve. I look forward to getting out in the coming days and weeks looking for some good locations for shots.

If you look close, you’ll even spot a shooting star! Due to the high resolution of the stars, it’s much better to look at the photo on my Flickr Page

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Milky Way and Palm - D810, AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 14mm, f/2.8, ISO3200, 20sec - {Flickr Link}

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Test shot of the Milky Way from the Garden

Since arriving in Portugal, I have been staring in awe at the night sky.

Tonight it was very clear, so I grabbed the camera and took a quick test shot of the Milky Way. It was directly overhead, so nothing to frame it against and also meant I couldn’t fit much of it in (even with a the 14-24mm set at 14mm!) so the result is great, but you can see just how clear it is.

A couple of hours north from here is Alqueva which is one of the darkest places on planet Earth. I will also be taking a trip there to photograph the night sky!

I will be looking for a great location to frame some shots of the Milky Way in the near future, so keep your eyes open.

Test Shot of the Milky Way
Test Shot of the Milky Way – D810, AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 14mm, f/2.8, ISO2000, 25sec

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Milky Way Quite Clear At Home Last Night

Last night I had a comical failure of capturing the International Space Station trail across the night sky.

I knew that the ISS would be eclipsed before it got overhead, but set the shot up to capture the trail between some trees in the garden in the hope I’d get it before it went dark. So I set the camera up and watched the ISS approach with my finger on my (less than £3) remote. Just as the ISS came into the frame, yes, it eclipsed and went dark!

It was a very clear night and I could just about make out the Milky Way over head and wondered how well it would be captured as I’ve never really tried a long exposure from the garden. I live in a quite dark location but the horizons all around have light pollution from the neighbouring towns and cities, however, straight up it’s quite a clean sky. So I pointed the camera straight up between the trees and fired off a few very high ISO shots so that I could get the framing as I liked and then set the camera up for a long exposure and this image is the result.

Not a great shot, but still great considering it’s from the garden.

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Milky Way from the Back Garden
Milky Way – D810, AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 14mm, f/2.8, ISO3200, 20sec – {Flickr Link}