Weather anomaly. November 2016

November in Ukraine is the worst month for astrophotography. According to statistics, it is in November that the least clear nights and, I think, everyone who watch or photograph night sky remembers this endless clouds and disgusting weather in the whole.

But sometimes miracles happens:) I took the chance, bought take a train ticket to the Carpathians in one morning and was there tonight. With myself, besides the usual derivative equipment and photographic equipment, I also grabbed the mount from my telescope to try with it to put a very long exposure for the sky. Read more about this dubious construction in the review of EQ2


November 21

I like the station Voronenko:) Every time you get out of the way to a completely desolate platform, somewhere within Carpathian forest. The train goes away and immediately find yourself in complete darkness under a clean starry sky. It is always very motivating to start your path up as soon as possible : )


This route is not as obvious as the one that stretches from Vorokhta itself, so it’s easy to get lost at night, which I actually did when I got here for the first time a year before (you can read it)


shooting from the ground @ 19mm, f/2.8, 15s, ISO 6400

My arrival here is an accurate calculation. I followed the weather and knew should be good, but I still not believed in such a clean sky in November! I stop and without a tripod, putting the camera on the ground, I take a picture for a very long exposure to know how it looks. It turns out at this moment there was an intense airglow of the atmosphere. In the picture it looks like red lines in the starry sky and the green light closer to the horizon.


There are a lot of mud around and want to move faster to the alpine valley where the grass and snow : )


I like fruits very much, but pulling them in hikes is meaningless. This is not the most nutritious food. And finally, up a little, I sat down to rest and looked over the supplies. Suddenly I find the persimmon, which I planned to eat before leaving the house, but forgot about it.

And now, here, at an altitude of 1300, in the snow, in the cold, this juicy milder persimmon is the most delicious fruit in the world! It’s just ambrosia at the right time, in the right place!

Do not forget about the Vitamins in the winter – then they will not forget about you : D


November 22

Milky Way from Sirius (bottom) to Capella (top) with H II regions in constellations Orion (Barnard’s Loop and Lambda Orionis Ring), Monoceros (Rosette and Fox Fur Nebula), Auriga (Flaming Star Nebula) and Perseus (California Nebula). There are Hyades and Pleiades also in the frame.
17mm, f/2.8, 4x20s, ISO 6400

The night burns! The green and red airglow does not stop : )


And here is the Moon rises:

17mm, f/2.8, 15s, ISO 1600

The appearance of his orange light from the forest is always sudden and very deceptive. Think that someone has got a fire or switched on the light in his house, but then you realize the cruel reality

Every time I get caught in this delusion : )


19mm, f/2.8, 30s, ISO 6400

I need to climb higher to the top of the ridge there is an open space and a view of Chornohora mountain range.


17mm, f/2.8, 15s, ISO 3200

It was already around the third night. The moon shone high in the sky, and photographs in this light look like a day. Everything was perfectly visible because of snow.


17mm, f/4, 13s, ISO 500

Here I put a tent and slept a little. When the twilight came I woke up and appreciated the landscape: the big mountain is Petros, the distant mountains in the center of the frame are Blysnyzi.


17mm, f/4, 2.5s, ISO 200

On the opposite side are preparations for sunrise : )


17mm, f/8, 1/3s, ISO 200

Here is Hoverla, from it to the left is all the of Chornora range extends.


17mm, f/8, 1/2s, ISO 200

Beautiful : )


I want to take the opportunity and take a photo of a beautiful phenomenon, which happens always at sunset and sunrise, but not noticeable, because it requires a unique good weather and an open horizon – well, right now : )


part of panorama @ 17mm, f/8, 1/5s, ISO 200

Such darkness over the horizon in the opposite side of the sun is called the belt of Venus, it is a shadow from the Earth in the upper atmosphere.

At some point, the edge of the darkness is painted in a rich violet-pink hue.

Each of us at least once in a life saw this picture, but it is good to photograph, if honestly, only now. Enjoy:

50mm, f/5.6, 1/25s, ISO 200


50mm, f/5.6, 1/25s, ISO 200

In just a few minutes the sun is already rising and illuminates the surrounding mountains:

Bratkivskyy ridge
mount Hoverla
mount Petros
mountains Turkul (right) and Rebra (left)
mount Brebenescul (in the middle)
mont Syvoulia

At 8AM I having breakfast in an open tent and go to bed.


At about 2PM I wake up and go to the ridge without a backpack, look for a source, so as not to overheat the snow once again, look what and how you could take a picture at night.


Weather is perfect! I found a source and a warm house with wood, and here is no soul around.


Before the onset of the night still managed to run back to the tent and bring all their belongings in the hut.


Venus (right), Mars and bright star Fomalhaut (left) at evening dusk.
Mars is just inside zodiacal constellation of Capricornus, which is clearly visible on photo.
25mm, f/4, 10s, ISO 3200

Even at dusk above the southern horizon a bright triangle shone. On the right, the brightest is Venus. In the middle of the red Mars, it is inscribed directly inside such a “smile” of the stars which is the constellation of Capricornus. The bright white and blue star to the left is Fomalhaut. Under them is Chornohora range with Hoverla mountain.


17mm, f/2.8, 3x30s, ISO 6400

I go back to the house, burn the oven and rest. So far, nothing special is being photographed, I wait for a more intense night, when most winter constellations will descend and it will be possible to get something interesting : )


17mm, f/2.8, 62s, ISO 1600
35mm, f/4, 2x120s, ISO 6400

Closer to midnight Orion is already rising. I test the possibility of taking pictures on the mount from my EQ2. After a little of adapted to polar axis everything works good : ) When I tried a few-minute exposures in wide angles I get a perfectly acceptable result. Particularly striking is the appearance of such pink nebulae on such expositions, which is a constellation rich. When working with the usual 20-30 seconds, they are almost invisible. The red glare on the ground is the light from the lamp on the EQ2 drive, it shines in fact is not brighter than cigarettes, but this shutter speeds well exposured even this.


Part of winter Milky Way with Rosette and Fox Fur Nebula in Monoceros, Orion Molecular Cloud Complex (Barnard’s Loop, Lambda Orionis Ring, Flame Nebula and Great Orion Nebula), Flaming Star Nebula in Auriga and California Nebula in Perseus. There are Hyades and Pleiades also in the frame.
17mm, f/4, 2x100s, ISO 1600

Climb the ridge. I try to make a frame with the winter Milky Way. I was suffering a lot with this EQ2 mount, but I like this result! I have never received anything like this before.

Also I try to make a circular panorama of the whole sky. This is difficult because the working plane of the mount is at an angle and the tripod head rotates not parallel to the horizon. All the same many singles for panoramas came hopelessly skewed. Then, in the process of postproduction, and failed to adequately it all glued into the whole picture, therefore, he left only some single frames from that flawed mind, as if to remember:

Part of Milky Way with North America Nebula in Cygnus, IC 1396 in Cepheus, Heart and Soul Nebulae in Cassiopeia. There are Andromeda Galaxy and Double Cluster also in the frame.
17mm, f/2.8, 30s, ISO 6400
17mm, f/2.8, 30s, ISO 6400
17mm, f/2.8, 30s, ISO 6400


Returned to the house, tossed a bit of firewood for the sake of this picture:

Milky Way from Canis Major to Gemini with pink colored H II regions in Monoceros and Orion. In the left part of picture there is Beehive Cluster from constellation of Cancer.
17mm, f/2.8, 4x30s, ISO 6400


I made everything conceived, relaxed and prepared tea. There are already no comments here:

17mm, f/2.8, 30s, ISO 6400
17mm, f/2.8, 15s, ISO 6400
17mm, f/2.8, 15s, ISO 6400


23 листопада

17mm, f/4, 1/40s, ISO 250

I slept a little and again rushed to catch the Belt of Venus before dawn.


Morning anti-twilight arch over Carpathians. Dark zone under pink glow is the Earths shadow, which stretch to outer space. Belt of Venus can be seen for 10-20 minutes before sunrise or after sunset in anti-solar direction.
panorama of 40 frames @ 17mm, f/4, 1/80s, ISO 250

The wide panorama has shown the scale and beauty of this phenomenon best.


Climbed to the ridge, where on the opposite side already began to go up the sun. His first rays looked very aesthetically from the edge of the neighboring mountain and illuminated the valley below.


I was walking around in the rays of the dawn, listening to music, enjoying the beauty around. I could not believe that for the third day in the Carpathians there was still no cloud. I checked out later. On the rest of the territory was the usual November weather, clouds, rain, mist, but here is just some kind of anomaly : )


I turned back on the southern slope and descended to other houses. This, you might say, is a local capital : )


There are many different buildings here and in summer life is boiling. There is also nobody here. All the houses are open and everyone can stop there.


Climbed on the roof of one of the houses and appreciated the landscape. Thinking that it would be cool to celebrate the New Year here : )


I returned to the hut, ate, dried shoes and clothes and went to sleep.


Constellations Auriga (left) and Taurus (right) rising above Carpathians. Bright white star in Auriga is Capella. There is Flaming Star Nebula inside the Auriga’s polyhedron. Bright orange star in Taurus is Aldebaran, which included in Hyades open cluster. Above Aldebaran there are Pleiades opeb cluster. Pink mark at the top of frame is California Nebula from constellation of Perseus.
24mm, f/2.8, 4x30s, ISO 6400

Since evening, I have tried to make a photo of the constellations of Auriga and Taurus. Rising, they fit perfectly into the frame. I was pleased with this shot, but with Orion, the east of which I waited in two hours, I was not lucky.


35mm, f/2.8, 3x15s, ISO 6400

The drive of EQ2 was slowing down and even at maximum speed gave only half the required. As a result, very long exposures became inaccessible. I decided not to bother, took off all this hellish design from EQ2 to the devil, and then photographed as usual, just from the tripod. What kind of relief was this, I will tell you!

It was interesting to try, but I do not agree more. I need to buy a tracker : )


Northern constellations (Ursa Major, Ursa Minor and Draco) over Carpathians. Bright star at the left edge is Vega.
17mm, f/2.8, 4x30s, ISO 6400

I take a picture with northern constellation.


Full celestial dome with airglow and Milky Way from Orion to Cygnus.
panorama of 30 frames @ 17mm, f/2.8, 30s, ISO 6400

At the same place took a panorama. Since the mount now does not interfere, to capture everything was possible smoothly and quickly, although not on the minutes. Instead, it was then sealed at all without problems!

A few more single frames used for this panorama:

Milky Way with North America Nebula in Cygnus and IC 1396 in Cepheus.
17mm, f/2.8, 30s, ISO 6400
17mm, f/2.8, 30s, ISO 6400


I waited for Orion to rise a little higher and after a couple of hours I made another panorama from another slope:

Arch of winter Milky Way over Carpathians. Seagull Nebula, Rosette and Fox Fur Nebula, Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, Flaming Star Nebula, California Nebula, Heart and Soul Nebulae, IC 1396 there are in the frame.
panorama of 18 frames @ 17mm, f/2.8, 50s, ISO 6400

This photo is also good : )

It is, in fact, the culmination of the Winter Milky Way in all its glory, from Canis Major to Cepheus.

One of the single frames for panorama:

Winter Milky Way with Seagull Nebula, Rosette and Fox Fur Nebula, Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, Flaming Star Nebula, California Nebula and Heart and Soul Nebulae.
17mm, f/2.8, 50s, ISO 6400


I also take a photo with Orion high in the sky above Hoverla and Petros, which had already been lit by the rising moon:

Part of winter Milky Way with Seagull Nebula in Canis Major, Rosette and Fox Fur Nebula in Monoceros and Orion Molecular Cloud Complex (Barnard’s Loop, Lambda Orionis Ring, Flame Nebula and Great Orion Nebula). There are Hyades and Pleiades also in the frame.
17mm, f/2.8, 3x38s, ISO 6400

Once again I go to another slope of the spine, where, in fact, the Moon will be visible. He is already in this phase, when one frame fails to pull everything out, so unite a few different exposure ranges to do both the very earth and the illuminated side of the moon.

Moon in phase 0.24 above Carpathians.
35mm, f/4, 1/100-1/10-1-10s, ISO 1600

It was already 3AM. I met with a calm soul and went to bed, and in the morning, when I decided to return home, “finally” and the weather was getting worse. It seems like the heavenly office chose to keep these 3 perfect star nights in the mountains for late fall : )


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