2.3 Rainy Days, Espresso Nights

There’s always something. I managed to get the tracking and focus properly set for this shot of the Trifid Nebula, but sometime during the exposure an airplane cruised by with its running lights on.  Note the three pairs of white and red “stars” along the track from the plane’s flashing beacons.

Most attendees had given up and gone to bed with the cloud cover at midnight. A few of us accidentally enjoyed its clearing after 2:00. We took in views of galaxies, nebulas and star clusters until the near-dawn when Saturn, and then Jupiter and Venus appeared. This was the intoxicating finale of the evening, and with the brightening sky, I staggered to my tent sometime after 4:00.

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Cows and other hazards of astrophotography

I have encountered various unexpected events while photographing the night sky.  Some are spectacular, like the flash of a brilliant meteor exploding in the sky and lighting up the landscape.   Some are startling: the crash of a tree felled by a nocturnal beaver.  Some are annoying: the competitive calling of amorous ducks and their disruption of the mirror lake surface I was trying to photograph. And some are downright dangerous. 

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