Milky Way over Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Starry Meadows, Gardner, Colorado

Milky Way over the Sangre de Cristo mountains; captured from CSASTRO’s Starry Meadows with Canon 5DSR, 14mm lens on Skywatcher Star Adventurer; 4 November 2023

Capture Notes

During my one-night trip to CSASTRO’s Starry Meadows property near Gardner, Colorado although the Galactic Core was only going to be visible for approximately 40 minutes (1928 – 2012MDT), I had the Southern Cross set up by 1500 and the backdrop (foreground for the Milky Way) of the Sangre de Cristo mountains was very appealing.  So, I set up the star tracker with the Canon 5DSR, 14mm lens, controlled with the wireless remote to spend a little over an hour capturing the beauty of the Milky Way before the Core is no longer visible until next Spring. 


Imaging stream: Canon EOS 5DSR on Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Star Tracker in sidereal mode.  Sigma 14mm 1:1.8 DG lens, manual focus, f2.0.
Sequence Control: Pixel Pro TW-283 N3 Wireless Shutter Remote Control Timer and Shutter Release

Capture & Processing

Sequence plan: 60×60 seconds, ISO1600, f/2.0, Captured 4Nov2023 1923MDT – 2030MDT

Sequator stack #1 (used to create this image): 16×60 seconds, ISO1600, f/2.0.  Captured 4Nov2023 1923MDT – 1941MDT.

Capture: 4 November 2023
Shooting location: CSASTRO’s Starry Meadows, near Gardner, Colorado
Processing: Stacked using Sequator, initially attempting to stack all of the images together.  That didn’t work well. Although it didn’t look like the foreground had moved very much, apparently it had moved enough to confuse the “freeze ground” masking in Sequator.  I tried a few attempts with different reference frames, all with the same (bad) result.  Finally, I broke the data into groupings of a similar amount of foreground visible.  Once I had a viable stack, I processed initially it in LR (using AW presets and custom mask actions) to get a good Milky Way image.  Brought that image and a foreground image into PS as layers.  Used PS to blend foreground and Milky Way image, star reduction, and other PS tools.