Middle Europe is a mess when you want to take photos of the night sky or of the stars. In the past, I have already complained about it a couple of times. Light pollution everywhere. Recently I was in an area flagged as being an area offering the best conditions for gathering the stars. Fortunately, even the clouds were merciful enough to allow a clear sight. Located at the coast and embedded in an agricultural region, this location proposed quite good preconditions. Even the light pollution map rated that region green. So, I gave it a try for getting an image of the center of the Milkyway. Now, near the end of the summer (and especially near the sea) the humidity is not as high as it is here in my region. So, I expected sight conditions similar to a cold winter’s day. You know, the Milkyway isn’t visible the whole year. It’s only visible from late March (in the early morning hours before sunrise) to the end of August (in the early night hours, right after sunset). So, my window was quite short: Sunset at 20:30h, Moonset at 21:50h, end of twilight at 22:00h (more realistic: 23:00h), Milkyway set at 23:24h.
During twilight, I prepared my equipment and pointed the camera in the right direction. But, when it became darker, I noticed a huge (industrial) area spilling the sky with light. Impossible to get the image I was waiting for. Nevertheless, I tried everything as planned to see, if I can rescue the image in postproduction. Long story short: no! But, while waiting, I noticed crisp clear stars right above me. After finishing the planned shots, I recomposed and directed my camera straight to the sky above me and in the image above, you can see my result. I’m quite happy with that one, although it’s still not the center of the Milkyway!