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Jay GaBany : The best in America
US citizen Jay GaBany is considered as one of today's best amateur astrophotographers. Here comes a little selection of his most impressive pictures.
Page 9 : Portrait of an astrophotographer.
At daytime, Jay GaBany is manager in a big travel agency, but when the night falls, he turns himself into an astrophotography wizard. He's mad about astronomy since the Apollo program "Opened his eyes to the sky" when he was a kid. This 51 years old US citizen became an astrophotographer 20 years later, in 1986, as he was preparing to immortalize the passing by of the Comet of Halley. At this occasion, he acquires his first "real" telescope. A 203 mm Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain to which he puts a camera on. "I quickly became completely addicted to sky photography, especially since I replaced my films by a CCD camera 10 years ago. Hopefully my wife and my 2 kids are comprehensive, because the nights I do not spend observing the sky are quite rare"
To produce this picture of the famous "Pillars of the creation" located in the eagle nebula (M16), Jay GaBany used his 508 mm telescope and his SBIG CCD camera. He did a 75 minutes pose with a red filter, 45 minutes with a green filter, and 90 minutes with a blue filter
The M82 galaxy, shot with the same camera and telescope, started colliding into it's neighboring galaxy M81 several hundred million years ago. Since that time, M82 ejects material violently along jets, seen in red (to be compared with the Hubble picture page 50)
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Done between September and December 2005, this picture of the Horsehead nebula (IC 434), located in the Orion nebula, required more than 17 hours of pose ! The red coloration behind the Horsehead is due to the presence of hydrogen in the nebula
Page 11 : "I operate my telescope from home, via the internet !"
Where Jay resides, in San Jose, CA, there is almost no cloud in the sky from may through October. This could be heaven for an astrophotographer. "Unfortunately, the light pollution from the whole San Francisco suburb is very heavy and I live close to a supermarket open all night long ! To shoot the sky, I had to move. I bought myself a 508 mm Richtey-Chretien telescope located ... somewhere in the New Mexico desert ! I operate it via the Internet, from home, where I program my posing times that last often 12 hours".
"I'ld like that my pictures help the audience to understand that the universe is not abstract, that all it's beauties are for real". To shoot M13, a star cluster located in the Hercules constellation, Jay GaBany used his 300mm Takahashi telescope. It required 90 min posing time with each blue, green and red filter.
The NGC 253 galaxy has been observed for the 1st time on September 23rd, 1783 by Caroline Herschel, sister of the famous William Herschel, discoverer of Uranus. To snap it, Jay GaBany did a 10 hours pose with his 508 mm telescope located in the New Mexico desert.
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"I can spend 60 to 80 hours editing a picture".
On his website, http://www.cosmotography.com, Jay GaBany publishes an average of 2 new pictures a month. "Behind each of those pictures, there are many working hours. I can spend up to 60 to 80 hours reworking them in Photoshop I am especially exigeant on colors, sharpness and deepness of my pictures, and also on the "presence" that emanates from them. But I wouldn't be devoted to that art as I am if I hadn't got congratulations from several big names in astrophotography including Robert Gendler ! How couldn't you be motivated when the one you admire the most congratulates you for your work ?"
Thanks to a 13 hours pose, with his 508 mm Telescope, Jay GaBany managed to snap the spiral arms of M 94 (The dark blue ring outside the object), often not to be seen on the usual pictures of this galaxy
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"Galaxies are my favorite targets. I'm fascinated by the idea that whole civilizations may be watching the milky way at the very moment I turn my telescope towards their galaxy". Jay GaBany called this picture of M51 he took with his 300mm Takahashi telescope "The island universe".
Located in the Gemini constellation, the Helix is located 450 light years from earth. It's the closest planetary nebula. At the end of it's life, a giant red star expelled it's outer layers in the outer space, producing the monumental red envelope taken here with the 508 mm Telescope.
The cone nebula (in the lower part of the picture) that Jay GaBany shot with his 508 mm Telescope is located 2700 light-years from earth, in the Orion Constellation. Dusty, this nebula blocks partly the light coming from the cluster known as "the Christmas tree" located behind of it.
Translation by Philippe Meisburger