How To Take Photos of the Milky Way

The Milky Way is most prominent in the sky during months of March to May each year, visible to the unaided eye in the southeastern horizon at around 2 to 3 am. The maps below show how the Milky Way would look like in the Philippine sky at various times of the year. 

January, February | Southeast, 5 am
March, April, May | South, 2 am
June, July, August, September | South, 12 mn
October, November | Southwest, 7 pm

To learn how to capture the Milky Way, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Venus | July 2020

Among all the planets, Venus is the brightest. It is usually seen an hour before sunrise, or an hour after sunset. The phases of Venus may be observed and photographed with a small telescope. This image of the crescent Venus was taken with a Canon 1100D and a 4 inch f/9 refractor.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

M45 Pleiades Cluster

M45 Pleiades open star cluster imaged with a 4 inch f/9 refractor and a Canon 450D DSLR on a motorized mount with DIY controller. This photo is a single 240-second exposure at ISO 1600, processed in GIMP.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

M31 Andromeda Galaxy

M31 Andromeda Galaxy, imaged with a 4 inch f/9 refractor and a Canon 450D DSLR on a motorized mount with DIY controller. This photo is a stack of 6 frames at 180 seconds sub-exposure, for a total of 18 minutes, processed in SIRIL.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Lunar Craters | 2021

Lunar craters are best observed and photographed when it is not full moon. These images of moon craters were imaged with a 4 in f/9 refractor and a dash camera.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.
Related link: Dash Camera for the Imaging the Moon and Planets

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Veil Nebula in OIII

A narrowband filter such as an Oxygen III (OIII) filter inserted along the optical train lets the light from the nebula (and the stars) pass through, but block out everything else, particularly light pollution. This image was taken in Quezon City with a Canon 450D and a 4 inch f/9 refractor, exposed for 30 minutes at ISO 1600, tracked and guided.

Veil Nebula | Sky-Watcher 4 in f/9 refractor

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Milky Way | Bolinao

We went on a road trip to Bolinao, Pangasinan. At daytime, we explored the beaches and tourist spots and at night, we stargazed and imaged the Milky Way! With a sky that is relatively dark, I was able to take a photo of the Milky Way with the resort as foreground.

Milky Way in Bolinao, Pangasinan

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.
Related link: How To Take Photos of the Milky Way

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Total Lunar Eclipse | 2018

Total Lunar Eclipse January 31 2018
Total Lunar Eclipse taken with a 4-inch f/9 refractor and a DSLR camera on January 31, 2018 at the PAGASA Observatory in UP Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Saturn | May 8, 2016

Saturn almost always impresses anyone who looks at it through a telescope. When compared to Jupiter or Venus, Saturn is relatively dim, making it difficult to photograph when using a small telescope.

Exposures as slow as 1/15 second was used to capture this image. I used an eyepiece to project an image of Saturn on to a Logitech 4000 web camera’s sensor. The division in Saturn’s ring and the cloud bands are visible in this photo. Image processed in IRIS.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Mars | May 2016

As Earth and Mars revolve around the Sun, there are instances when these two planets are close to each other, and this happens every 2 years. This is the time when Mars is best photographed and this is also the window when spacecrafts are sent to Mars! This image of Mars was taken during one of its closest approaches to Earth, revealing the dark and light patches on its surface, along with white clouds in its atmosphere. I used an SPC900NC web camera to capture this image. Image processed in IRIS.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

M44 Beehive Cluster

M44 Beehive open star cluster imaged with a 50 mm f/1.8 lens and a Canon 450D DSLR on a motorized mount with DIY controller. This photo is a stack of 12 frames at 16 seconds sub-exposure, for a total of 192 seconds, processed in IRIS.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Jupiter | March 2016

Planets are particularly difficult to image, especially if using a small 4-inch telescope. You need to image at very long focal lengths to magnify and zoom in to the planet and a large aperture to reveal finer details. To capture this image of Jupiter, I had to use an eyepiece to project an image on to an SPC900NC web camera’s sensor. Precise tracking is essential to keep the planet’s image in frame for more accurate registering and stacking of images.

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and the cloud bands of alternating dark and light color, are visible in the photo. Image processed in IRIS.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Solar Eclipse | March 2016

Image of the partial solar eclipse on March 9, 2016, taken with a 4 in f/9 Sky-Watcher 100ED refractor, a DSLR camera, and a solar filter.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

M31 & M33 Galaxy | Wide-Field

M31 Andromeda Galaxy (lower left) and M33 Triangulum Galaxy (center right) imaged with a 50 mm f/1.8 lens and a Canon 450D DSLR on a motorized mount with DIY controller. This photo is a stack of 2 frames at 30 seconds sub-exposure, for a total of 60 seconds, processed in IRIS.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Lovejoy C/2014 Q2 | January 2015

Comet Lovejoy C2014 Q2 taken with a 4 inch f/9 telescope and a tracking mount. The comet’s green coma and hint of its tail, are visible in this photo. Comets are difficult to image because they move relative to the stars, producing a trail. Processing software corrects for this drift and stacks the image of the comet without producing a trail.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Sunspot AR 12192 | October 2014

This is an image of the Sun showing the sunspot AR 12192, the largest sunspot of the solar cycle 2010 to 2020. This image was taken at solar maximum when the sun is most active during a cycle. It was imaged in October 2014 in Quezon City using a 4 in f/9 refractor and a Baader ND 5 solar filter. Never observe or image the Sun without the proper solar filters.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Total Lunar Eclipse | October 2014

lunar_eclipse_8_october_2014_anthony_urbano
Total Lunar Eclipse as observed from Quezon City, Philippines on October 8, 2014, taken with a 4 in f/9 Sky-Watcher Equinox ED and a DSLR camera.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Milky Way | Camarines Norte

milky way aug 23 2014
Milky Way galaxy imaged with a Canon 450D DSLR camera, 18-55 mm lens set at 18 mm, f/3.5, 30 sec exposure, ISO 1600, August 23, 2014, Camarines Norte, Philippines.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Celestial Triangle | August 2014

Jupiter (top left), Venus (lower left), and the moon form a celestial triangle on August 24, 2014 at 5 am local time, imaged with a Canon 450D and a 50 mm f/1.8 lens on a tripod.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Orion | Wide-Field

Constellation Orion imaged with a Canon 450D and a 50 mm f/1.8 lens on a motorized mount with DIY controller. This photo is a single 20-second exposure at ISO 1600, processed in GIMP.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines