Star Gazing

"Star trails cut by contrails" This is a compilation of 200 frames at 20 second intervals. Taken before the Last Quarter Moon rise. f-2.8, 15 seconds, 1600 ISO

“Star trails cut by contrails”
This is a compilation of 200 frames at 20 second intervals. Taken before the Last Quarter Moon rise.
f-2.8, 15 seconds, 1600 ISO

“You never enjoy the world aright, till the sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens and crowned with the stars.” ~Thomas Traherne

My husband has chased the stars for years. When our kids were little he’d pack up the van, bundle the kids in warm clothes (in winter)  and head out to various locations to watch for a view of orbiting space stations, comets, meteor showers, or any other night sky visual of interest. Dirt Man subscribes to various astronomy type web pages, so he has always “been in the know” of these celestial events. Often we headed to the beach or to the mountains. Other times a dark parking lot or open field in the country sufficed. The kids and I found it exciting the first few times, but after a few trips and only a short flash of said intended object, if indeed we even had a good view, we were done.

The kids grew up, so I’m the one left to accompany him on these outings. However, the grown children are quite interested, especially if it involves viewing from the computer and not having to go anywhere with us! Surprisingly, I’ve grown to appreciate these fieldtrips.

Dirt Man’s new obsession has become photographing the night sky. We started out photographing the moon which I was able to participate with my own camera. Now it is the actual stars, and I must say it is fascinating. While it’s amazing what can be seen with the naked eye when you’re in a place with little to no light pollution, what is captured by the camera lens is tenfold.

I enjoy sitting or lying beneath the stars and watching celestial shows. Sometimes I think I see blinking stars or UFOs, but these usually prove to be airplanes. We catch sight of falling stars. I can identify the Milky Way and sometimes the Big and Little Dippers. Otherwise my guesses at constellations are usually wrong, but I am thrilled my husband is knowledgeable of these things. I love the sensation of sitting beneath the vast heavens and watching life unfold in the darkness.  I’m just a tiny speck in the universe, yet I get the distinct feeling my small part is important, that I am somehow connected to something so much bigger than I am able to comprehend.

The video below is about three hours of frames, one shot taken every twenty seconds and then compiled to a movie. You’re able to see some planes go through and also some shooting stars. It’s exciting to detect the movement of stars and planets which is not otherwise visible to the eye. If you put it on full scream the effect is even better. I hope you’ll take the time to watch…it’s less than a minute long and most likely not something you see often.

Spin Cycle:Obsession

36 thoughts on “Star Gazing

  1. Suzi, this was like the COOLEST!!!!!

    Yes, watched the video clip full screen, and because my monitor is 32 inches, it was magnificent!

    Also, that first photo is INCREDIBLE. WOW!

    ” I can identify the Milky Way and sometimes the Big and Little Dippers. ”

    When I was a kid, I remember sitting outside on summer nights with my family and doing that!

    How fun!

    Great post, my friend….X

    • It is really cool! We’re taking our bikes down to the beach (more desolate area not the tourist part) this Friday night to set up for a Polaris shot.

  2. That is so cool! The first time I saw REAL stars was the first summer I went to Virginia – I’ve always lived in Chicagoland, with smog. I couldn’t believe how bright the sky was there!

  3. SOOO cool! I would love to live in a place where I can actually see the stars at night. We have so many streetlights and tall buildings that I’m afraid we don’t get to do much stargazing. I think that’s a pretty healthy obsession!

    You will be linked very soon!

  4. The Good Lord must have had so much fun creating this vast universe of ours!! And when we’re able to contemplate its many beauties, we’re able to understand — deep down — how very much He loves us. Thanks, Suzi, for this lovely video (yes, I watched it all the way through). I’m thrilled when the weather here cooperates and I, too, can go out and stargaze!!

    • Yes, it is…the whole semi camping thing (air mattress in an empty house) was pretty cool in itself and then roaming the country roads at leisure…it was a wonderful weekend together.

  5. We were at the Planetarium tonight and heard about two interesting sky events:

    1. On May 26th, the convergence of Jupiter, Mercury, and Venus just over the horizon at sunset. Mercury, which is rarely visible, will be “lit up” by the proximity of Jupiter and Venus.

    2. In November / December, for 3 weeks, Comet Ison which will be almost as big as the new moon . . . and bright enough that it may be visible during the day!

  6. Pingback: Two Upcoming Sky Events | Spirit Lights The Way

  7. Amazing photo, and I enjoyed the video, too. I miss stargazing. The city lights are just too bright, and we’ve lived in cities for the past 35 years. When we lived in rural Connecticut, we used to spread a blanket on the lawn at night in the summer and watch the stars while the babies were asleep in the old farmhouse. Miss those simple days.

  8. As an old hippie says, “Like, WOW!” So enjoy everything you post. And now a deep appreciation of Dirt Man’s work. The videos that began with the stars and looped to many more had my soul in a flight of fantasy. I finally made myself stop at the Marysville, Utah video. Looking forward to your sharing your work and Dirt Man’s fun. If any of the fellow bloggers did not watch the dog chasing the red light, you missed a laugh, bare feet and a really cute dog!

  9. Simply awesome photography! I’m also mesmerized by the cosmos and have “camped” in the backyard when promised a glimpse of a meteor shower or other celestial show. Most of time I am disappointed, but that doesn’t keep me from trying. And I have yet to capture the perfect moon shot with my camera. Hope you have a wonderful, starry weekend! xoxo

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