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Last night it was finally a clear night since a very long time. I had been photographing all night some stellar objects when in the morning I was surprised by a beautiful display of noctilucent clouds. The sight of this was very impressive and I have been looking for quite some time in awe.

Noctilucent clouds are a rarely seen phenomenon during a short period in the summer at a small region of the Earth when the sun is getting not too low below the horizon. This makes it possible for solar rays to light up very high clouds (75-85 km) in the upper atmosphere, thus making them visible as glowing clouds in the dark.

If you look well in the image you can even see the stars shining through the clouds. The image was taken at 4.26 in the morning, a short while before sunrise.

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikon 24-70 @ 44mm
1,0s - f/2.8 - iso400

https://flic.kr/p/Keowso
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een beetje inzomen dan zie je meer van deze kip/vlinder
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Please beware: because of an error there is a new version available: https://www.flickr.com/photos/avdhoeven/20148024708
For the full resolution look here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/avdhoeven/20270859006/

Recently I enjoyed my holidays in Vandans, Austria. Just before this holiday I could pick up a Nikon D810a from Nikon HQ to try it out for 3 weeks. Of course I don't say no to that. This is a brand new camera that was handpicked and calibrated manually by Nikon (a so-called QC model).
 
In the start of the holidays it was clear and I wanted to try out the camera. I doubted what to do, put it on my scope (knowing I have some trouble with the flatness of the field, and need some calibration time) or trying to do the Milky Way. Until now I never made really nice Milky Way images, so I decided to go for this challenge.
 
Also I took my new Skywatcher Star Adventurer, so I could work nicely stand-alone, without any further equipment. I decided to go for wide field with a Nikon 14-24mm that I got with the camera.
 
So I started with the polar alignment of the Star Adventurer. That goes really well, but I did find out you need to do this for every image series as it is moved very easily when changing the camera position.
 
After focussing I started with 60s images at ISO800 to see what the D810a showed. I was very impressed. The Milky Way just jumped into view and was very well visible. Now I have to say it's quite dark here with only some lights at the horizon.
 
I took about an hour of imagery, 60 images. Then I took more longer exposure images of the more 'northern' part of the Milky Way. After processing, alignment, stacking, mosaicing and putting back the background (that was lost by the stacking) and stretching I got the following result. I had never seen the Milky Way like this, and so I enjoyed the full night... 

To put everything in perspective I have shown several objects in this region with more detailed images.
 
Camera: Nikon D810a
Mount: Skywatcher Star Adventurer
Exposure: 50x60s ISO800 14mm f/3.5 + 8x300s ISO800
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