Milky Way Panorama 2.0


Between October 2007 and August 2009, I assembled a digital all-sky mosaic image from more than 3000 individual CCD frames. Using an SBIG STL-11000 camera, 70 fields (each covering 40° × 27°) were imaged from dark-sky locations in South Africa, Texas and Michigan.

The new panorama has an image scale of 36 arcsec/pixel (approx. 3× the resolution of the old, film-based mosaic), a limiting magnitude of approx. 14 mag and an 18 bit dynamic range. At full resolution and bit depth, it is a 648 MPixel, 7.7 GByte FITS cube. Unlike the old image, the new panorama was carefully calibrated to preserve the large-scale star and dust clouds.

For more details, see my Milky Way Panorama web site, this paper, published in PASP 121, 1180-1187 (2009), or the zoomable virtual reality version. A color photographic star atlas based on the panorama is available in English and German.

Night Sky Time Lapse Photography

Time-lapse videos, taken with a Canon 6D or T2i and processed with Kdenlive and ffmpeg:

CCD and Film Astrophotography


Contact Info

Axel Mellinger
Department of Physics
Central Michigan University
223 Dow Science Complex
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859

Phone: +1-989-774-3336