ROYAL PAVILION AND THE SEVEN SISTERS:
I thought I'd give some background info on one of my favourite (and one of the most difficult) images that I've ever taken.
The image featured below is a view of Brighton's Royal Pavilion with the stars above as captured by my camera. This is also how it would appear to the naked eye if the sky was unaffected by the significant light pollution found in the heart of the city.
The photo has been titled, not due to the magnificent chalk cliffs found a little way along the coast, but instead due to Pleiades, a star cluster (also known as the Seven Sisters) seen a short way above the left turret.
I have provided fully-labelled diagrams of some of the most prominent objects seen in the photo, also including the star cluster Hyades and the galaxy Andromeda (M31) seen as a small smudge to the right of the main turret. For a full list of night sky objects please see below the diagrams [please follow the link at the bottom of this blog to view a higher quality version of the photo without the labels].
LABELLED SPACE OBJECTS IN 'ROYAL PAVILION AND THE SEVEN SISTERS':
LABELLED CONSTELLATIONS IN 'ROYAL PAVILION AND THE SEVEN SISTERS':
OBJECTS OF THE NIGHT SKY ABOVE THE ROYAL PAVILION (from left to right):
Aldebaran: Found in the constellation Taurus, it appears in the v-shaped star cluster known as Hyades. Hyades represents the head of the Taurus and Aldebaran marks the red eye of the bull. It is the brightest star in Taurus and the 13th brightest in the night sky. Magnitude: 0.87 (lower magnitudes are brighter!).
Hyades: A cluster of several hundred stars that makes up the head of the constellation Taurus due to its distinctive v-shaped group of stars.
Pleiades: A star cluster, also known as the Seven Sisters and Messier 45. Visible with the naked eye, it has swirls of nebulosity around it (clouds of dust and gas) that add to its beauty.
Algol: The second brightest star in the constellation Perseus. It is an eclipsing binary star, meaning that it consists of two stars that are gravitationally bound to orbit each other and at times pass in front of one another, or eclipse one another. Magnitude 2.1.
Mirfak: The brightest star in the constellation Perseus. Mirfak comes from an Arabic phrase "Mirfaq-al-Thurayya" that translates as "the elbow of Pleiades". Magnitude 1.82.
Almach: Located in the constellation of Andromeda it is a quadruple star. So, like the binary star (also known as a double star) mentioned above, but with four stars closely orbiting one another instead of two. It is an Arabic name referring to a middle-eastern wild cat with unknown significance. Magnitude 2.27
Alpha Cassiopeiae: A double star in the constellation of Cassiopeia. In Greek mythology the vain queen Cassiopeia was the mother of Andromeda. Magnitude 2.25.
Gamma Cassiopeiae: A variable star at the centre of a w-shaped asterism (pattern of stars) in the constellation of Cassiopeia. Variable stars are stars whose brightness fluctuates as seen from Earth. Magnitude varies from 1.6 to 3.0.
Andromeda (M31): A spiral galaxy (also known as Messier 31) that is the nearest to our own galaxy (the Milky Way). Visible with the naked eye (and in the 'Royal Pavilion and the Seven Sisters' image) as a faint smudge. Like the Milky Way it is a huge aggregation of stars, gas and dust. Andromeda is found in the constellation of the same name and named after the daughter of Cassiopeia.
Aside from the excessive amounts of light pollution found in Brighton city centre (which was quite the task to manage), to capture the dynamic range (extreme lights of the pavilion and darks of the night sky) I had to take a total of 12 photos blended together.
The photo encompasses two rows of photos stitched together, nine for the foreground and three for the sky; all taken from the same location on the same evening.
For the foreground three different exposures were taken at each of three positions from left to right. The three exposures at each position were blended together using 'masks' (to selectively hide and show contrasting areas of the photos) in order to reproduce the large dynamic range of the lights from the pavilion.
Three photos were then taken of the sky from left to right and stitched together with the foreground to make the complete image.
The reflection of the pavilion was created by placing my camera close to the small pond at the front of the gardens.
BRIGHTON 2023 ASTRO CALENDAR - DECEMBER:
< Link to the Brighton 2023 Astro Calendar featuring this image as the month of December >
PRINTS & CANVAS WRAPS OF ROYAL PAVILION UNDER THE STARS:
< If you like this photo and wish to purchase it as a print or canvas please follow this link! >
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Hope you enjoyed reading about the process for this photo and the astro objects visible in it! Feel free to comment below :)