Moon and its effect on Milky Way?

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vegetaleb
vegetaleb Senior Member • Posts: 1,304
Moon and its effect on Milky Way?
1

2 days ago I went to a nearby mountain to shoot the milky way as it was the first night without clouds for a while. Unfortunetly by the time I arrived the moon was starting to raise opposite side of the milky way core (that I was shooting), I used my usual ISO 800 SS 10 and 13seconds stacking, but once at home I saw in the results that the milky way was more faint than in my usual sets.

Could the moon rising behind a mountain on a far side affect the milky way in photos??

If so I will have to go back there again this weekend if the weather is as perfect as these last 2 days, no moon rise this weekend

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biza43 Forum Pro • Posts: 10,485
Re: Moon and its effect on Milky Way?

Yes, the Moon will make the MW less visible.

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vegetaleb
OP vegetaleb Senior Member • Posts: 1,304
Re: Moon and its effect on Milky Way?

biza43 wrote:

Yes, the Moon will make the MW less visible.

Guess I will have to do another trip and pray that the sky stays empty from clouds

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vegetaleb
OP vegetaleb Senior Member • Posts: 1,304
Re: Moon and its effect on Milky Way?

biza43 wrote:

Yes, the Moon will make the MW less visible.

Ok and let's say the moon rise Saturday night at 1am and shoot my sets at 10pm meaning 3 hours before moon rise, will it also affect the MW? Or it's too far to have any impact?

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joenj Regular Member • Posts: 458
Re: Moon and its effect on Milky Way?

vegetaleb wrote:

2 days ago I went to a nearby mountain to shoot the milky way as it was the first night without clouds for a while. Unfortunetly by the time I arrived the moon was starting to raise opposite side of the milky way core (that I was shooting), I used my usual ISO 800 SS 10 and 13seconds stacking, but once at home I saw in the results that the milky way was more faint than in my usual sets.

Could the moon rising behind a mountain on a far side affect the milky way in photos??

If so I will have to go back there again this weekend if the weather is as perfect as these last 2 days, no moon rise this weekend

The effect with moon can vary quite a bit: If there is full moon and the moon is close to the MW center, then it is too bright to capture any structures of the MW. If there is new moon and the moon is far from MW center then good chances one can get great exposures.
I took this
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62976811
when moon was about to set. The moon was about 120 degreeto to the right, enough to illuminate the mountains and not strong enough to overecpose the MW center.
With moon, youwillhaa rwilightsituation that makes the skies naturally dark blue.
In summary:It is definitelyworth to shoot MilkyWay with moon up.

Bill Ferris
Bill Ferris Veteran Member • Posts: 4,336
Re: Moon and its effect on Milky Way?

A pristine night sky with no Moon has a surface brightness of about 22.0 magnitudes per square arcsecond. A full Moon in those same conditions increases the sky's surface brightness to roughly 18.0 magnitudes per square arcsecond. That's 4 magnitudes or 40x brighter.

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vegetaleb
OP vegetaleb Senior Member • Posts: 1,304
Re: Moon and its effect on Milky Way?

Bill Ferris wrote:

A pristine night sky with no Moon has a surface brightness of about 22.0 magnitudes per square arcsecond. A full Moon in those same conditions increases the sky's surface brightness to roughly 18.0 magnitudes per square arcsecond. That's 4 magnitudes or 40x brighter.

So I guess the other night it was about 19, it was a 70% lighted moon raising above horizon.

What about a half moon that will rise 3 hours after taking the photos?

Would they be affected like 20-21 magnitudes per square arcseconds? I mean if the moon is still not above the horizon can it still distantly impact the darkness of the sky?

Following table means no moon at all on the 24th (tomorrow)?

https://www.timeanddate.com/moon/lebanon/beirut

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biza43 Forum Pro • Posts: 10,485
Re: Moon and its effect on Milky Way?

vegetaleb wrote:

biza43 wrote:

Yes, the Moon will make the MW less visible.

Ok and let's say the moon rise Saturday night at 1am and shoot my sets at 10pm meaning 3 hours before moon rise, will it also affect the MW? Or it's too far to have any impact?

Depends on the location of the MW in the sky.

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vegetaleb
OP vegetaleb Senior Member • Posts: 1,304
Re: Moon and its effect on Milky Way?

biza43 wrote:

vegetaleb wrote:

biza43 wrote:

Yes, the Moon will make the MW less visible.

Ok and let's say the moon rise Saturday night at 1am and shoot my sets at 10pm meaning 3 hours before moon rise, will it also affect the MW? Or it's too far to have any impact?

Depends on the location of the MW in the sky.

The MW is toward South slightly West, the moon rise now on East

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Bill Ferris
Bill Ferris Veteran Member • Posts: 4,336
Re: Moon and its effect on Milky Way?

vegetaleb wrote:

Bill Ferris wrote:

A pristine night sky with no Moon has a surface brightness of about 22.0 magnitudes per square arcsecond. A full Moon in those same conditions increases the sky's surface brightness to roughly 18.0 magnitudes per square arcsecond. That's 4 magnitudes or 40x brighter.

So I guess the other night it was about 19, it was a 70% lighted moon raising above horizon.

What about a half moon that will rise 3 hours after taking the photos?

Astronomical twilight begins and ends when the Sun (-27 magnitude) is 18 degrees below the horizon. At that distance below the horizon, the Sun has no impact on sky brightnes above the horizon.

With the full Moon being quite a bit fainter (1/400,000th the brightness of the Sun), I would guess it needs to be within 5 degrees or less of the horizon to noticeably impact sky brightness. (Just a guess) A quarter Moon that's 3-hours from rising will not impact sky brightness.

If you have access to a site with western or eastern horizons not impacted by urban skyglow, you could gauge the Moon's impact by making 30-second exposures with a wide angle lens at intervals of 1, 5 ,10, 15, 20 and 30 minutes after moonset or before moonrise to see for yourself where the threshold lies.

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dbvanhorn New Member • Posts: 20
Re: Moon and its effect on Milky Way?

Moonlight bouncing off the particulates in the air will lower the contrast, similarly to light bouncing around inside a poorly made lens or camera body. If there were no air, as long as the moon was out of view and not bouncing off things like a lens hood or similar, it wouldn't matter at all.

So, just build yourself a really tall tower, take some oxygen, and...

Thanks though, you made me think of an option I have locally, I can drive to just over 14,000' and I know it will be dark skies and as little atmosphere above me as practical.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Mt+Evans/@39.5882986,-105.6613382,14z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x876ba9ca85fb4895:0xefa49d55b6cbb1b1!8m2!3d39.5883005!4d-105.6438286!5m1!1e4

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stargazer ch Forum Member • Posts: 53
Re: Moon and its effect on Milky Way?

No matter where the moon and the MW is, simply don‘t try to image the MW while the moon is above the horizon...  you only will be disappointed and get a blue sky like in daylight.

Only exceptions could be if there is a lunar eclipse (a few year ago there was one in front of the Milky Way) - then the moon light is weak enough to not affect the picture. Or if the moon is close to new moon.

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EricTheAstroJunkie Regular Member • Posts: 253
Re: Moon and its effect on Milky Way?
2

This just isn't true,here's a shot I did a few weeks back with a 95% illuminated moving coming over the horizon:

Will it win any awards? No,but I'm happy with it,you can easy see the hill top on the right beginning to be illuminated by moonlight.

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stargazer ch Forum Member • Posts: 53
Re: Moon and its effect on Milky Way?

Ok, I stand corrected. Quite like your picture that clearly shows what‘s possible despite moon light. It may not be easy for some people to get such a result. Did you ever see the MW with your naked eye when the moon was close to full moon ? Not very likely unless really special circumstances...,

My suggestion was more meant for people that want to replicate the visual impression of the MW they experience at their site (of course digital cameras will enhance this big time). I like the MW with black(ish) sky ...

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chris gunn
chris gunn Veteran Member • Posts: 9,012
Re: Moon and its effect on Milky Way?

vegetaleb wrote:

2 days ago I went to a nearby mountain to shoot the milky way as it was the first night without clouds for a while. Unfortunetly by the time I arrived the moon was starting to raise opposite side of the milky way core (that I was shooting), I used my usual ISO 800 SS 10 and 13seconds stacking, but once at home I saw in the results that the milky way was more faint than in my usual sets.

Could the moon rising behind a mountain on a far side affect the milky way in photos??

It adds extra light.

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cheers!
Gunn
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joenj Regular Member • Posts: 458
Re: Moon and its effect on Milky Way?

stargazer ch wrote:

No matter where the moon and the MW is, simply don‘t try to image the MW while the moon is above the horizon... you only will be disappointed and get a blue sky like in daylight.

Only exceptions could be if there is a lunar eclipse (a few year ago there was one in front of the Milky Way) - then the moon light is weak enough to not affect the picture. Or if the moon is close to new moon.

No, check thia:
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62976811

vegetaleb
OP vegetaleb Senior Member • Posts: 1,304
Re: Moon and its effect on Milky Way?

I guess this photo was taken far away from any light pollution, this is not my case, I have some orange light pollution on the mountain in front of me, I am using a Hoya red enhancer filter to reduce it but if the moon light is added to the light pollution it will make the MW hard to see even with stacking.

If the sky is good tonight I will go there again, I should be installed and starting at 9:15pm while the moon will rise at 11:30pm, so this time I should have a darker sky.

Here my result of the other night but without vignetting treatment yet

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vegetaleb
OP vegetaleb Senior Member • Posts: 1,304
Re: Moon and its effect on Milky Way?

I finally went Saturday night about 2 hours before the moon rise, I took several sets from iso 800 to 1250 and from 8 sec to 13 sec, I started editing some of them yesterday and I can say the results are clearly better than the first time (with the moon over horizon). It's not as perfect as MW shots in a desert or at 3000 meters mountain because of far light pollution, but it's goid enough fir me.

Once I correct the vignette I will post the result here

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acktown
acktown Contributing Member • Posts: 506
Re: Moon and its effect on Milky Way?

EricTheAstroJunkie wrote:

This just isn't true,here's a shot I did a few weeks back with a 95% illuminated moving coming over the horizon:

Will it win any awards? No,but I'm happy with it,you can easy see the hill top on the right beginning to be illuminated by moonlight.

Fantastic image!

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DMcGarvey
DMcGarvey Regular Member • Posts: 133
Re: Moon and its effect on Milky Way?

vegetaleb wrote:

2 days ago I went to a nearby mountain to shoot the milky way as it was the first night without clouds for a while. Unfortunetly by the time I arrived the moon was starting to raise opposite side of the milky way core (that I was shooting), I used my usual ISO 800 SS 10 and 13seconds stacking, but once at home I saw in the results that the milky way was more faint than in my usual sets.

Could the moon rising behind a mountain on a far side affect the milky way in photos??

If so I will have to go back there again this weekend if the weather is as perfect as these last 2 days, no moon rise this weekend

Shooting astro photos under Moon light, and producing a decent result, is something I've been meaning to test but haven't done so yet.  Usually I avoid it completely, but sometimes those are the only clear nights.  In theory, Moon light should be able to be dealt with in the same manner as any other type of sky glow.  I assume most of it would end up in the blue channel.  With a wide field shot, it will no doubt create a large gradient.

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