Revisiting the great Milky Way from the Grand Canyon NP

It’s almost three years since we visited Grand Canyon National Park, in Arizona. It was our second time there, and my wife and I wanted to share with our daughters the wonders of that huge piece of land.

Via Làctia des del Gran Canó del Colorado

I left my family at bed one clear night, and headed towards the park. My goal: to look for wildlife.But after a while, my eyes were dangerously looking at the sky all the time. So I pulled off the road, turned out the lights, and got out of the car.

There it was! Gloriously, the great Milky Way, in one of the clearest night skies I’ve ever seen. It run from horizon to horizon. The show was so huge that it was impossible to grab it all.

I improvized my camera in an attempt to get a bit out of it. I got 7 frames.

When I got back to Barcelona, I processed them, and discovered, as expected, that they were full of noise. My DSLR is not  ready to such a task. Even worse, I had used a 30-second exposition, and the stars had left long tracks in the pistures. Ok, I simply stored them and forgot about them.

Until some days ago. I revisited them, using the processing techniques I’ve been practicing these years. And the result shows much more detail and beauty than I had imagined. Of course, the problems were still there, so I had to use some aggressive techniques which I wouldn’t had used in “regular” astropictures.

It’s amazing how many features can be identified in the picture. Among them, some famous Messiers:

Via Làctia des del Gran Canó del Colorado (comentada)

I have written a short article on this processing. You can read it if you are interested.