Encounter with Polaris

This breathtaking image shows not only comet PanSTARRS but galactic dust clouds near Polaris (the brightest star in the image) as well. The image is made from data obtained by my friend Peter Aniol in Southern France at his private observatory in Montlaux. It is the first deep sky image made with Nikon camera I have ever processed. I was surprised by the high dynamic range and perfect image quality of Nikon D800E. I have a direct comparison with Canon 5D Mark II (images taken at the same place, the same exposure time, optics with same F-number and the same arcsec/pixel resolution). The Nikon D800E is the clear winner because it has lower noise, better dynamic range and much better red sensitivity (both cameras were unmodified).
Click on the image or on the following reference to display the higher resolution image version (3.4 MB, PNG format).

Date01. 06. 2013
Time21:41 - 22:15 UT
PlacePrivate observatory of Peter Aniol, Montlaux, Southern France
CoordinateN 44° 02' 41.91", E 5° 50' 50.36", altitude 580 m
Conditionsclear sky, good transparency, seeing 2-3 arcsec
OpticsZeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135mm (set to F 2.8)
CameraNikon D800E
Exposure11× 3 min, ISO 1000
Processingimage processing: Miloslav Druckmüller
Copyright© 2013 Peter Aniol, Miloslav Druckmüller

Miloslav Druckmüller
Institute of Mathematics, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic
Page last update: 14.8.2013