COPYRIGHT, PLEASE NOTE

All the material on this website is copyrighted to J-P Metsavainio, if not otherwise stated. Any content on this website may not be reproduced without the author’s permission.

Have a visit in my portfolio

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Voices of Apollo 11


The image of the Full Moon,
 made entirely from voice transcription text of Apollo 11 astronauts.


I was most gratified and deeply moved when Michael Collins —the Apollo 11 & Gemini 10 astronaut, author, explorer and artist— tweeted following kind words about my work on April 19th, 2021: https://twitter.com/AstroMCollins/status/1384194949009211393  

The news of his passing, just nine days later, hit me all the harder — a very emotional moment for me. Out of the blue, I got inspired to create this artwork. I absolutely had to do it right away, which I did. 

Michael Collins was affectionately referred to as “the loneliest man in history” for being the command module pilot who flew solo in space behind the Moon and without radio contact with anyone while his colleagues, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, set foot on the Moon for the first time in history. Michael was also an artist. His iconic photos made from Moon orbit are true art and part of mankind's greatest cultural heritage treasure.

A similar solitude gripped me while I was creating this tribute image. For being an astronomical photographer and a visual artist often is a very lonely job. Especially this time as I was deeply emotional throughout my creative process for this artwork. Even though I never met him personally, the end of his Earthly mission meant more to me than I was prepared for. I needed to make this photo-based artwork to process the inner storm of my thoughts and feelings.

The Voices of Apollo 11
 are now part of the Moon forever

Click for the larger version of 2500 x 2500 pixels.

Image shows the full Moon made entirely out the text of the transcript of the onboard voice conversations of the Apollo 11 mission. There is nothing else in this photo-based image. Just letters. 

A close up of the top of the artwork shows just letters from the authentic voice transcription of Apollo 11 Command Module recorder data.


Ethan Siegel, @Forbes
Cosmology Science writer, astrophysicist, science communicator & NASA columnist.

"Metsavainio has created a ‘voices of Apollo 11’ artistic masterpiece to immortalize the mission and its target forever."


The Voices

I downloaded NASA's original full transcript of Apollo 11's onboard voice conversations. The idea was to turn this text into an image of the Moon. After a few weeks of intense work at a feverish pace my tribute was ready. Now the Moon is made up entirely of Apollo 11 voice transcription letters. 

This is also a tribute to the entire Apollo 11 team: Commander Neil A. Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin E. Aldrin Jr.


The Landing Site

The Apollo 11 landing site is marked by two red letters.


4K VIDEO

1-minute 4K video about the "Voices of Apollo 11" artwork. Please watch in full screen for the best viewing experience.
The music "Fly me to the Moon"

Frank Sinatra's 1964 recording of "Fly Me to the Moon" became closely associated with NASA's Apollo space program. A copy of the song was played on a Sony TC-50 portable cassette player on the Apollo 10 mission which orbited the Moon,[44] and also on Apollo 11 before the first landing on the Moon.[45] Source Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fly_Me_to_the_Moon




Material used for the artwork


Apollo 11 onboard voice transcription



Click to download the PDF-document, 5.5 MB


My photo of a Full Moon
Click for a larger image.

I used my twenty-year-old photo of the Full Moon to create this text based artwork.









Friday, May 7, 2021

Milky Way, 12 years, 1250 hours of exposures and 125 x 22 degrees of sky THIS IS A PERMANENT POST, NEW POSTS ARE AFTER THIS POST

You can buy prints by using the contact form at right


It took nearly twelve years to collect enough data for this high resolution gigapixel class mosaic image of the Milky Way.  Total exposure time used is around 1250 hours between 2009 and 2021.


" I can hear music in this composition, from the high sounds of sparcs and bubbles at left  all the way to a deep and massive sounds at right."


The final photo is about 100 000 pixels wide, it has 234 individual mosaic panels stitched together and 1,7 gigapixels. (Click for a large image) All the frames used are marked in this image. Since many of sub-images and mosaics are independent artworks it leads to a very complex mosaic structure. 


From Taurus to Cygnus
Click for a large image, it's really worth it! (7000 x 1300 pixels)

Image in mapped colors from the light emitted by an ionized elements, hydrogen = green, sulfur = red and oxygen = blue. NOTE, the apparent size of the Moon in a lower left corner. NOTE 2, there are two 1:1 scale enlargements from the full size original at both ends of the image

NEW, A HD-video from Germany shows my photo in full glory

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-Z60eZ4yqM
(Video in Germany but images are the international language)


Close ups form the parts of the Grande Mosaic
Taurus side of the mosaic, https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2021/02/a-new-mosaic-image-from-taurus-to.html



A closeup from large panorama to show the overall resolution
Click for a large image

The California Nebula, NGC 1499, can be seen at bottom left of the large mosaic image.
There are about 20 million individual stars visible in the whole mosaic image.



Orientation and details
Click for a large image







Imaging info

Image spans 125 x 22 degrees of  the Milky About 20 million individual stars are visible in my photo!

It took almost twelve years to finalize this mosaic image. The reason for a long time period is naturally the size of the mosaic and the fact, that image is very deep. Another reason is that I have soht most of the mosaic frames as an individual compositions and publish them as independent artworks. That leads to a kind of complex image set witch is partly overlapping with a lots of unimaged areas between and around frames. I have shot the missing data now and then during the years and last year I was able to publish many sub mosaic images as I got them ready first.

My processing workflow is very constant so very little tweaking was needed between the mosaic frames. Total exposure time is over 1250 hours. Some of the frames has more exposure time, than others. There are some extremely dim objects clearly visible in this composition, like a extremely dim supernova remnant W63, the Cygnus Shell. It lays about six degrees up from North America nebula and it can be seen as a pale blue ring. I spent about 100 hours for this SNR alone. An other large and faint supernova remnant in Cygnus can be seen at near right edge of the image. G65.5+5.7 is as large as more famous Veil nebula. There are over 60 exposure hours for this SNR alone.  (Veil SNR is just outside of the mosaic area for compositional reasons but can be seen in "Detail" image above.) 


The Mosaic Work, technical info

I have used several optical configurations for this mosaic image during the years. Up to 2014 I was using an old Meade LX200 GPS 12" scope, QHY9 astrocam, Canon EF 200mm f1.8 camera optics and baader narrowband filter set. After 2014 I have had 10-micron 1000 equatorial mount, Apogee Alta U16 astro camera, Tokina AT-x 200mm f2.8 camera lens and the Astrodon 50mm square narrowband filter set. I have shot many details with a longer focal length, before 2014 by using Meade 12" scope with reducer and after 2014 Celestron EDGE 11" and reducer. Quider camera has been Lodestar and Lodestar II.

I took my current toolset as a base tool since it has a relatively high resolution combined to a very large field of view. Also it collects photons very quickly since it's undersampled and I can have very dim background nebulosity visible in very short time (many times 30 min frame is enough)

I do all my mosaic work under the PhotoShop, Matching the separate panels by using stars as an indicator is kind of straight forward work. My processing has become so constant, that very little tweaking is needed between separate frames, just some minor levels, curves and color balance. 

I have used lots of longer focal length sub-frames in my mosaic to boost details. (See the mosaic map at top of the page) To match them with shorter focal length shots I developed a new method.

Firstly I upscale the short focal length frames about 25% to have more room for high resolution images.Then I match the high res photo to a mosaic by using the stars as an indicator. After that I remove all the tiny stars from the high res image. Next I separate stars from low res photo and merge the starless high res data to a starless low res frame. And finally I place the removed low res stars back at top of everything with zero data lost. Usually there are some optical distortions and it's seen especially in a star field. Now all my stars are coming from a same optical setup and I don't have any problems with distortions. (I'm using the same star removal technique as in my Tone Mapping Workflow)



Closeups from large panorama to show the overall resolution
Click for a large image

Image in mapped colors from the light emitted by an ionized elements, hydrogen = green, sulfur = red and oxygen = blue. 

A 1:3 resolution close up from the photo above
Click for a large image,

A closeup from the main image shows the Sharpless 124 at up and the Cocoon nebula with a dark gas stream at bottom.

From Bubble to Cave Nebula
Image info, https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2020/03/from-bubble-to-cave-nebula-area.html

The tulip nebula area
The Tulip Nebula, Sh2-101, can be seen at center right, there is also a black hole Cygnus X-1
The blog post with technical details can be seen here, 
https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2020/10/the-tulip-nebula-in-cygnus-sh2-101.html

The supernova remnant G65.3+5.7

My Observatory,


Not an igloo, this is reality of astro photographing in Finland


All my photos from the Spring season 2021

After each season and year, I have made a poster format presentation about all of my images taken at that period. Spring season 2021 was little different since I got ready the massive mosaic image of the Northern Milky Way. This is only photo in the World, showing the Northern Milky Way by this accuracy and depth. There are several extremely dim objects seen in full glory at the first time in the World in this mosaic panorama.


All my photos from the Spring season 2021
Click for a large image




I have a new logo now

That's me in the silhuet. The image can be seen some kind of planetary conjunction or even a stylished Moon. But it actually shows a very typical situation when I'm about to start an imaging session and I'm looking for the sky quality. The half circle like cutting at two o'clock is showing the rear end of my telescope.



Thursday, May 6, 2021

4K videos about the Grand Mosaic of the Milky Way

The only photo in the World showing the Northern Milky Way in this accuracy and depth.

ABOUT THE 4K-VIDEOS

 I made two videos showing my very large imaging project, the Grand Mosaic of the Milky Way.
Original photo has so high resolution, that's impossible to show over the web, I made those videos to bring out even some of the accuracy of the original photo.

Please, use a 4K-display or the TV-set to watch the video, if possible.
It does play nicely in normal HD-display but you'll get much more out of this by using the 4K-display.


4K-VIDEO 1




4K-VIDEO 2





Panoramic photo of the Northern Milky Way