More Polaris

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More Polaris

3634 seconds at ISO 200 and f/5.6 (EXIF for the curious)

(Obligatory shout-out to Irish photographers Shane Murphy and Elliot Tucker, who have been wetting their own feet on the ISS too.)

I’m at the stage in my astrophotography where every photograph is a valuable learning experience, although they mostly come out looking similar…same-ish? absolutely identical. Stars. Background noise. Some light spill from some random ambient light source. The above one-hour exposure has honestly been the longest I’ve pushed any given long exposure.

For all that the exposure is almost identical to several of my other efforts from the past week I’m still going to come out and argue it as an another learning experience. So nyah.

Space and astrophotography has hugely interested me ever since I was a little boy. At first the wonder came of the sheer unimaginable scope and wonder of these faraway worlds and stars – three of my strongest early childhood memories were the tragic [[Space_Shuttle_Challenger_disaster|Challenger]] accident, Sir Patrick Moore on (I believe) Channel 4 discussing the [[Giotto_mission|Giotto]] encounter with Halley’s Comet and watching the first live photographs broadcast during the extended coverage of Voyager 2′s 1989 flyby of Neptune. In all the 21 years since then my interest has only become keener and my wonder has only deepened as I began to truly appreciate the Herculean efforts involved in assembling the telescopes, launching the probes, coordinating the capture of signals and processing the discrete images into stunning photographs.

Think of it like this: You’re Ansel Adams capturing The Tetons and Snake River. Except you’re blindfolded, driving down the road at 25,000 kilometres per hours and setting the camera and composing the image on the direction of a person who’s sitting in a room halfway around the world and talking to you via a telephone.

For all this is maybe the most technically demanding field of photography, individual efforts is rarely noticed and lauded [[2009_Jupiter_impact_event|unless you get lucky]]. To you unknown astrophotographers – I salute you.

by Mark -
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