Can you trap a galaxy in a crystal ball? I tried! Back in 2018 I took this image of the Milky Way through a crystal ball from ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile.

If you look carefully you can even recognise some constellations. Due to the way the ball projects the image, the constellations in the background and within the ball are symmetric relative to the center of the ball.

For those of you into photography, I took this with a Canon 6D and a Rokinon 24 mm lens at f/4, with 30 seconds of exposure time at ISO 6400.

I placed the ball on top of a handrail, with the camera slightly below it pointing towards the Milky Way, which was close to the horizon at that time.

@astro_jcm great idea and execution! I am wondering: Do you also have a shot with longer exposure? What do star trails look like through a sphere...?

@knirscher Thanks! I never tried a longer exposure, but that's a cool idea!

i already thought the thing the ball rests on is a building and was amazed about such an gigantic translucent ball 🤣


Please don't shut up about space.

Welcome to Mastodon.

@astro_jcm thats a beautiful shot. Do you have a higher resolution one, and what sort of (community) license do you have for it? Would make a great addition to my desktop wallpaper.

@dch Sure, you can get a hi-res version here:

The image is released under a CC-BY license.

@astro_jcm gosh I wished i lived somewhere with less light pollution!

@astro_jcm I mean, you explained the process in the following posts, but still… wow, what is this sorcery!?

@astro_jcm ahhh neat, i remember when this went around the first time

@astro_jcm it looks soooooo awesome, is there high-er res version available somewhere?

@demofox Thanks! It took a bit of trial and error with the aperture to get it look right. I wanted the background to be out of focus but not so much that you couldn't recognise constellations.

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