As promised, below is a photo made from 30 minutes of 30 second exposures stacked in photoshop to show how stars revolve around the north star (Polaris) this photo was taken in conditions that where not ideal as there was still a large moon in the sky illuminating the sky. I an hoping that soon conditions align properly so that there is no moon on the same night as no cloud cover. In August I am hoping to do a slow exposure of the Perseid Meteor shower so please check back around August 11/12th for that.
Last night I drove out the the West Kennebunk Plains known to locals as the Blueberry Barrens. I knew that this area would be a prime location for getting a shot of the Moon as it was barely over the horizon as its an area of perhaps a few miles in every direction that has no built up areas, giving ideal viewing conditions for stars and planets as there is very little light pollution.
I used timeanddate.com to find the exact time of the Moonrise and then used my Mobius Sky Map iPhone app to find the exact direction the Moon would be rising. I drove out and arrived 10 minutes or so before the moon was due to rise and set up my tripod.
I used a point and shoot Canon Sx40 as well as a Panasonic Lumix x60. I was surprised and happy to see that other astrophotography enthusiasts showed up with the same idea. As the moon rose over the distant tree line I was impressed with its reddish hue, looked like a giant version of Mars almost as its slowly crept up and over the trees before settling to its more regular white/yellowish tinge.
Below you can see a few photos I took of this adventure, hope you enjoy. Next week when the sky darkens again after the moon is gone I intent to do a star rotation photoshoot and plan to put the results of that here.
I have been taking photographs for just shy of a decade since I emigrated from Scotland to the North East United States. Since the day my father in law put a camera in my hand I was hooked on getting shots that where out of the norm.
I always try to capture scenes that have strange lighting, weather or just surreal in mood. I have always enjoyed astronomy since viewing the Hale Bopp Comet of 1997 and have for many years enjoyed looking at astrophotography.
I have decided that this should now be my main focus of my photographic journey from this point on. The world looks very different after dark and I find it very inspiring to stand outside and gaze up at the stars, not only for their beauty but to contemplate our place as people in the grand scheme of things and to put any problems into perspective when you realize just how inconceivably enormous the universe is.
Below I would like to share a collection of recent astrophotography experiments as well as some shots that go a few years back. I hope you enjoy and if you do like what you see please feel free to share this page with friends and also to follow me on the various social media channels you can find links to in the header of my website.
A rare event compelled me to grab my camera and stand out in the cold autumn air for 2 hours. A complete lunar eclipse coincided with a super moon (when the full moon is at its closest point to earth) giving us a “Super Blood Moon”. I stood in my back yard with my wife watching this event unfold with scary accuracy on the timing. We joked about civilizations of a bygone era looking up in fear at such events and how far technology and our understanding of astronomy has come.
At approximately 9:08pm eastern standard time we started to notice a small “bite” being taken out of the left side of the moon. It took about 1 hour for the earths shadow to completely obscure the moon and finally bask it in a dim reddish light. Looking at it (aged 37) at the time of this writing I realized with amazement and some horror that the next time I would see such an event would be when I am in my early 50s and my now infant sons would have grown up to be men by then. Below you can see a composite of the photos I took with my trusty Canon SX40 Powershot camera.
In years to come it will be amazing to see how much further cameras evolve, see you for the next one in 2033!