The Central European Deep Sky Imaging Conference
The Central European Deep Sky Imaging Conference (CEDIC) brings together astrophotographers from around the globe every other year in March. This year, the historic city of Linz, Austria, hosted the event. Linz is also the home to some of the country’s most accomplished amateur astronomers. The second CEDIC was held last March 18-20 with more than150 participants from 20 countries, including lecturers from South and North America, as well as the Middle East.
The Ars Electronica Center is known for its Deep Space hall, where images in very high resolution are projected on 16-by-18-m screen that extends from the wall to the ground, and visitors can walk into crystal sharp images while surrounded by the starry cosmos, or enjoy amazing 3D shows. This unique hall was used for CEDIC opening to showcase a collection of stunning deep sky photos by the participants, as well as a large-screen display of The World at Night (TWAN) photographs. The museum will be the venue for the first completely digital TWAN exhibition this coming September. While TWAN-style photography is very different from deep-sky imagery, CEDIC organizers intended to include all aspects of astrophotography to broaden the audience of this well-planned conference. I was invited to hold a workshop on secrets of landscape astrophotography.
Other interesting lectures were “Assembling Deep-Sky Mosaics” by Fabian Neyer of Switzerland, as well as “Remote Imaging versus Telescope Hugging” by Daniel Verschatse who relocated from Belgium to Chile to permanently enjoy the dark skies of the southern hemisphere.
Today, many deep sky photographers with heavy duty equipment are limited to light polluted skies. Finnish Astrophotographer Jukka-Pekka Metsävainio discussed the challenges of narrowband imaging from light-polluted locations to reveal some of the faintest emission nebulae in the sky. In his presentation he explained some of his innovative image-processing techniques.
Not all have access to such ideal sites that are often selected for research observatories. Filippo Ciferri of Italy explained how to to beat atmospheric turbulence using a technique known as “lucky imaging”. Common among planetary imagers, lucky imaging uses video imaging of deep-sky targets. The sharpest frames captured during transient moments of perfect seeing are then selected and stacked with amazing results.
Babak Tafreshi is a contributing photographer of Sky&Telescope, a science journalist, and director of The World at Night night-sky photography program.