The Summer Night Sky over Our House
Little house with the night sky, by Steven Fahey
Little house in the country by Steven Fahey

Steven Fahey shared a photo of his “little own house in the country,” and the lovely quiet and warm feeling it conveys lifted it to the Photo of the Week.

It looks like a perfect little refuge.

Steven Fahey shared a photo of his “little house in the country” with SkyNews, and the lovely quiet and warm feeling it conveys lifted it to the top, making it the Photo of the Week for April 17, 2020.

Little house with the night sky, by Steven Fahey

“I’ve done some ‘arc of the milky way’ shots before, but most have lacked a decent foreground,” Fahey wrote. “Many people go to remote or special places to get an interesting foreground.

“I was looking for a subject matter that was closer to home — and then I realized I had defined the solution by the way I expressed the question.”

Fahey took the image in Irricana, Alberta on August 1, 2019. He used his Canon 6D with a Rokinon 14mm lens at f/2.8. He said the image is a mosaic of two wide-angle shots with an exposure time of 30 seconds.

“When you look closer in on that red window, you feel like going knocking on the door and going on in,” one of the judges said of the photo. “Nice work on the Milky Way, too.”

Our runner up this week was an image of the spiral galaxy M106 by Roger Menard.

M106 by Roger Menard

Menard said he captured the image from his backyard in Sainte-Sophie, Québec over the nights of March 22 and 27.

He said he used a Celestron Edge HD14 with a 0.7x focal reducer, providing 2737mm of focal length.

“Which gave me just enough field width to include all of M106,” he wrote.

The camera was the ZWO ASI 1600MM Pro, working at -20C with a ZWO filter wheel and 31mm LRGB filters. He said all the subs were six minutes long at 1×1 binning. He caught four hours with a luminance filter and one hour each with the red, green, and blue filters, for a total of seven hours of exposure.

“No autoguiding was necessary, thanks to my Paramount MX+ mount carefully polar aligned and the sky modelled with 150 t-points with The Sky X software,” he wrote. “Pro-track was enabled and a PEC model was used.”

Menard said he did all the processing in PixInsight.

“My objective in the processing was to make all the dust stand out in the galaxy nucleus,” he wrote. “There are also a couple of far away galaxies visible through the spiral arms of M106. I was also surprised to see quite a few well-defined pinky knots in the main spiral arms.

“Even with a single six-minute test sub, there was pronounced dark mottling visible in the nucleus which prompted me to spend a fair amount of time on this magnificent sky wonder. I do not regret it!”

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