If you think you’ve taken the ultimate holiday snap, you now need to ask yourself this question – does it have the Milky Way in it?
Alessandro Merga’s does, and he took it from the window of the Boeing 747 in which he was travelling.
First, here’s the stunning snap, which he’s posted on his Facebook page:
Merga was en route from New York City to London, cruising 11,000 metres above the Atlantic.
At 1am, while everyone else was napping, he thought he try to snap the amazing night sky out his window.
He tried 93 times, but the plane was shifting along at nearly 1000km/h.
He got one on the money – the one above. Here’s how he managed it:
The conditions were “good”, clear sky (at 11km surprise me if it were the contrary), zero light pollution (Bortle 0), the problems were mostly technical: make a long exposure on something that moves at 598 mph (960 km/h).
The only solution was to make an exposure as short as possible, but capturing enough light, so I used a 28mm f1.8 wide open, setting the canon to 1600iso ( the maximum for my 450D) trusting that then during the post-processing maybe I could push to 3200 or 6400iso, for the exposition I went to attempts from 30 seconds down, I took 93 pictures of which only one good (with 10 sec exposure).
To obtain the highest possible stability I put the Gorillapod between the armrest and the fuselage, covering me with a blanket to block all reflections coming from inside.
It’s a once in a lifetime shot that has since made it to NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day blog.
Keen stargazers will be able to spot the stars of Sagittarius. Merga provides this overlay on his blog post to help:
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.