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photographer asking for help!

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hi guys.... im so sorry if this is a stupid question but im not from star watching background at all but im from the photography side, ive spotted a few pics of the milky way and i would love to try a similar shoot myself, the technical side of things im ok (ish) with but where im having trouble is, is the location, how do i know what direction it will be when im shooting? ive found maps from the moon phases to apps on your smart phone but nothing on milky way locating!

hope to hear from a knowledgeable person soon!

many thanks

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Well the milky way should be visible in good apps and star maps.

Here is a quick map to show you what constellations in the sky that are resting on the milky way main star field: http://www.astronomy.org/StarWatch/September/9-04-milky-way.gif

And if you get to a really dark site it shuold be apparent within seconds where it is :)

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You could try http://www.stellarium.org/ - if you press 'A' to toggle atmospheric effect (inc light pollution) on/off, you'll be able to see the Milky Way. You can also enable a line showing the galactic plane (view options, markings).

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It's up there pretty much all the time, though maybe easier to pick out in the summer, and ideally you need to be somewhere pretty dark as although large it's relatively faint. At the moment it runs through the constellations of Cassiopeia, Perseus, Taurus, Orion, Monoceros and Canis Major (from memory), but if you download and install "Stellarium" then you can see it as a pale band across the sky in that.

If you're after a wide field shot of the Milky Way then there's a tutorial somewhere. I'll see if I can find it in a moment. You can start with little more equipment than you probably already have -- a tripod, camera and remote shutter control.

This is one of my first, that I took last summer:



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