His work reflects the greatness of the whole exterior that is beyond our eyes
Being one of the three people who dedicate themselves to astrophotography in Yucatan, Germán Izhar Ávila Medina at the age of 24 has found a way to check what is beyond the Solar System and has managed to capture images of constellations such as Andromeda and in general of the Milky Way, in addition to the Sun and the Moon.
He studies Electronic Engineering at the Technological Institute of Mérida and recently his work has been highly publicized by Internet users since the way of showing a fragment of the universe reflects the greatness of the whole exterior that is beyond our eyes.
Germán shared that he first learned about astronomy and that motivated him to buy his first telescope, “that’s how I began to observe from my home and above all, to study because it is needed; we have to inform ourselves to identify the planets and learn more about the Moon, for example”.
His interest in observing deep space objects, that is, everything outside the solar system such as galaxies, nebulae, and other stars, led him to astrophotography.
“These objects have the peculiarity of being at least thousands of light-years away and the light reaches us very dim, that is, when we look out, we cannot see it with the naked eye.”
The student who, in addition to having astronomical interests, is a pianist, explained that for example, a telescope is capable of collecting more light than the human eye, however, for this type of photography that he has achieved, he needs not only a telescope but also tools more sophisticated.
He began by seeing works of this type on the internet and that is how he found out that in Mexico, those who dedicate themselves to astrophotography belong to a very small community, and only in Yucatan, with him, there are three people.
Germán and a friend of his, along with Daniel Mena, a teacher at the Autonomous University of Yucatán (UADY), are the ones who have shared knowledge in the state to improve the work they exhibit.
So far, Germán publishes his work through the Facebook page “Stellar Sky” and despite the fact that he has been in this line of photographs for just over three years, he has managed to capture the attention of hundreds of viewers, as he also disseminates scientific activities.
The equipment he uses is expensive since to photograph a nebula he only uses filters that allow him to isolate the light.
“With those filters, I can see an image of a nebula and they show me the distribution of the gases above.”
With the devices he uses that have the technique used by the Hubble space telescope, it is not necessary for him to go to the countryside, but from the city, he can photograph space.
For those of us who do not have much idea of how he achieves these spatial frames, it takes the young man approximately five minutes to work per filter, and being a process of at least 60 exposures, sometimes it takes 15 to 24 hours to achieve what could be a master photography.
“In photography, let’s say normal, you have to focus, frame, and click, but in my case, I have to get the raw information and I have to take between 60 to 70 images per filter. Then, I have to gather all the information one by one, since I also work with monochrome cameras, that is, we take green, red and blue photos to achieve a color image”.
At his young age, he is clear that he will dedicate himself to engineering because he likes to build things while he does science, but astrophotography and being a pianist are passions that he for will be able to combine.