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Winter and Summer Skies

Hanle, Ladakh, India.

Camera : Nikon D850 CentralDS Full Spectrum

Lens : Zeiss Otus 55mm F1.4

Tripod : Really Right Stuff TVC 45

Head : Arca Swiss D4

Sky : 120secs F4.0 Iso 800

Foreground : 120secs F2.8 Iso 1600

Filters : Kani night filter, IDAS HeUIB filter

The top of the image faces west at the winter milky way while the lower part of the image is looking westwards to the Sagittarius arm of the Milky way. The image combines two panoramas of 40 panels each shot in the Bortle 1 skies over the Hanle Wetlands in Ladakh. The height above sea level is nearly 15000ft, oxygen is scarce, and the temperatures cold. The chill factor caused by 50kmph windspeeds numb the mind and the body and to stay here overnight to realize the shot was a test of the human spirit. The Zodiacal light can be seen as a pillar of light just right of center. Winter sky jewels like Orion, Taurus, Pleaides, and the California nebula proudly display their pinkish red Hydrogen Alpha gases. The summer skies boast of the usual suspects like Rho Ophiuchi, the Dark horse and the Lagoon nebula along with the milky way core and its dark lanes. On the ground another struggle ensues… the authorities want to declare the area a Dark Sky reserve while the villagers want the modern trappings of life to be a part of their lifestyle bringing more light pollution to the area…who will win??

© Vikas Chander All rights reserved Copyrights