Orion and Friends

The constellation Orion is a distinctive pattern in the winter sky.  Look for the three-star belt, with another three-star sword hanging from it. Here he is with some of his less visible friends.  The large red arc is Barnard’s Loop, which encircles the Orion Nebula (lower of the two red areas) and the Horsehead and Flame Nebulas

Betelgeuse is the red giant star at Orions shoulder, not to be confused with the circular red Rosette Nebula to the left.  The bright blue star at the lower left is Sirius (the Dog Star), the brightest star in the sky, and sailing above it in the blue river of the winter Milky Way is the red wisp of the Seagull Nebula.

View full size.

Lake Superior shoreline near Two Harbors, MN
March 2004
Pentax 6×7, 55mm, f/5.6
E200 +2 stops, 20 minutes, guided

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Orion at the Beach

Orion at the Beach
Kaanapali Beach, Maui HI, 06 April 2001
Pentax 67 w 55mm lens at f/8
16 minute exposure on E200 pushed 1 stop

It looks like a daytime picture but there was only the full moon. With enough exposure, what looks like black sky to me becomes sky blue to the film. The dreamy quality is made by the passage of light clouds blowing through during the exposure, and by the cumulative misty effect of waves breaking on the shore. A rogue wave climbs far up the beach and glistens in the moonlight for a moment before sinking back into the sand. A close look will find masts waving as their moored sailboats maneuver against the wind.

The constellation Orion is hiding in the clouds. The three belt stars make a characteristic cat scratch during the time exposure. To the left, undimmed by faint clouds is Sirius, the brightest star in the sky.