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O ne en­emy of astropho­tog­ra­phy is light pol­lu­tion (the ex­tra light from towns and cities), and Sin­ga­pore has a lot of that. While it’s not im­pos­si­ble, it’s best to head some­where that’s far from towns and cities. An­other en­emy is the full moon – it also drenches the night sky with light, wash­ing out the stars.

Plan your ses­sions as close to new moon as pos­si­ble. Al­though the Milky Way is vis­i­ble all year round, the ga­lac­tic core is only vis­i­ble above the hori­zon for part of the year. In the north­ern hemi­sphere, this is be­tween March and Oc­to­ber al­though the best time is be­tween April and July. In the south­ern hemi­sphere, it is vis­i­ble be­tween Fe­bru­ary and Oc­to­ber with the best time be­tween May and Au­gust.

The last en­emy of astropho­tog­ra­phy is clouds, and this is where a lit­tle plan­ning and a lot of luck helps. Cross your ngers for a clear, dark, moon-free night. Paul uses a mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion called Pho­toPills to plan his shots as it lets you plan al­most to the me­ter where you will take your photo. See where the Milky Way and the ga­lac­tic core will be at a pre­cise time, and much more. Great for plan­ning shots in ad­vance!

The screen­shot above is an ex­am­ple of Paul’s plan to shoot the im­age of the Green Cape light­house in Aus­tralia in June.

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