A nighttime visit to Lake Erie’s Marblehead Lighthouse provided the perfect opportunity for the Cuyahoga Astronomical Association’s Alan Studt to create this beautiful image. This nightscape isn’t a simple, single-exposure image as done in the old film camera days.
Here’s what went into making this picture:
Shot an approx. 22-minute star trail between 11:30 and Midnight (100 – 13 second shots at ISO 3200).
Edit out dozens of airplanes – probably all but a handful of the shots had multiple planes flying by.
Foreground is made of 45 images median stacked equaling about a nine-minute exposure.
Tamron 15-30mm @ 15mm, f /2.8
Post done in Sequator, StarTrails.exe, Lightroom, and Photoshop
“Beautiful evening!” says Studt. We agree, and thanks for sharing!
What do we lose when we lose sight of the stars? Excessive and improper lighting robs us of our night skies, disrupts our sleep patterns, and endangers nocturnal habitats. Saving the Dark explores the need to preserve or restore night skies and what we can all do to combat light pollution. This film will be shown October 5 & 6 at the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival
The Cuyahoga Astronomical Association (CAA), in cooperation with Cleveland Metroparks, will host an Eclipse Watch event at Edgewater Park, on Cleveland’s western Lake Erie shore, from 12:30 to 4:00 PM, Monday, August 21. The event will be free and open to the public, no reservations required, to observe the day’s solar eclipse. In case of rain, the event will be canceled.
The Edgewater Eclipse Watch will include:
Telescopes equipped to safely view the eclipse, tended by CAA members
Eclipse viewing glasses provided by AstroZap, one per group, please!)
Non-profit organizations, including Cleveland Metroparks, with family activities.
Additional activities to be announced!
The venue for the Edgewater Eclipse Watch will be at the west end of Edgewater Park’s lower level parking lot (see map below). Telescopes and other activities will be in the grassy area adjacent to the parking lot. Visitors may come and go as they please during the event.
Millions of people will enjoy this eclipse of the Sun, some portion of which will be visible from everywhere in the continental United States; it’s even been dubbed “The Great American Eclipse” and “The National Eclipse.” Locations along a relatively narrow strip of land stretching from Oregon and the Pacific Northwest to the Atlantic off South Carolina will enjoy the full glory of a total solar eclipse. Here in Northeastern Ohio, we will see a deep partial eclipse with, at its peak, the Sun reduced to a brilliant crescent in our early afternoon sky.
A solar eclipse takes place when our Moon comes between Sun and Earth casting its shadow on Earth’s surface. The illustration below shows how the depth of Moon’s shadow varies depending upon how much of Sun is covered. The small black dot indicates the area where all of the solar disk is covered and where a total solar eclipse is in progress; outside of that dot, a large shaded area shows where various levels of partial coverage — the partial eclipse — is visible.
This video from NASA shows how eclipses work and why they don’t happen every month. Spoiler: Moon’s shadow “misses” the Earth most of the time…
The Cuyahoga Astronomical Association (CAA) has several skilled photographers amongst its membership. Taking advantage of a clear, starry night February 6, CAA member Alan Studt spent some time with his camera making this wonderful image. Creating an image as beautiful as this nighttime landscape isn’t as simple as simply pressing the shutter release, even on an advanced DSLR. Here are Alan’s notes concerning this photograph:
The image is a combination of a few shots to get the various dynamic ranges involved.
Camera – Nikon D600 with 14mm Rokinon lens, producing three shots processed in Adobe Lightroom CC, and layer blended in Adobe Photoshop CC:
Sky – ISO 1250, 15 seconds, f/2.8
Land/Lights – ISO 6400, 15 seconds, f/22
Lake/Boardwalk – ISO 1000, 15 seconds, f/2.8
Constellations and objects seen in this image include: Canis Major & Minor, Orion, Lepus, Taurus, The Pleiades, and the lower part of Gemini in the upper left corner.
We were fortunate enough to have clear skies this past weekend and I managed to do some narrowband imaging from my back yard in Granger, Ohio. I’d like to share with everyone one of my latest CCD images taken of the Elephant trunk nebula IC 1396 located in the constellation of Cepheus. I often wonder why I bother traveling great distances to dark sky sites like Texas and Florida when I can get results like this from my back yard in Ohio!
Imaging details: Telescope: Takahashi TOA 150 Refractor. Camera: SBIG ST8300M with self-guiding filter wheel. Mount: Losmandy: G-11. Exposure times in narrowband: 4 hours SII filter with 20-min. sub exposures, 4 hours OIII filter with 20-min. sub exposures, 4 hours HA filter with 20-min. sub exposures. Location: Granger, Ohio. Processed in MaxIm DL, Images Plus, Pixinsight, and Photoshop. Final RGB combination was converted using the Hubble color palette, HST.
CAA Member Joe Golias is (obviously) an expert astro-imager and is owner of Astrozap, a Cleveland-area company that produces astronomy accessories.
A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth’s magnetic field during the early hours of October 2, sparking a geomagnetic storm. In North America, auroras spilled across the Canadian border into more than a dozen northern-tier US states, including Northern Ohio. The CME left the sun on Sept. 30, propelled by an erupting magnetic filament, racing away from the Sun at 2 million MPH.
CAA members David Nuti and Christopher Christie observed the light show from Lake Erie’s southern shoreline and captured some images. Presented here is one we think is pretty spectacular!
Photo Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T3: ISO 800, 12 sec., f/3.5, 18mm, 12:41 AM, October 2, 2013.
Actually, a pair of surprises gave night owl CAA member Christopher Christie a wonderful opportunity: a shot at the “northern lights.” A wonderful aurora spread across the Canadian border and descended into the United States as far south as Colorado and Nebraska. The aurora was caused by the unexpected arrival of an interplanetary shock wave on May 31st and that stormy night held the added surprise of clearing skies!
“While it was thunder storming I noticed on one of the web sites I watch that the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field tipped sharply south to around a minus 20,” wrote Christie. “So I was keeping an eye on some other sites and the weather, saw the rain was about to let up and since it looked like there would be a good chance of having Aurora if the skies cleared, I decided to give it a try. It was still drizzling when I left but when I got to my spot it had stopped. The skies were still pretty cloudy and I couldn’t really see anything but I took a few pictures anyway, just in case. I noticed this one weird spot that wasn’t moving but kind of getting bigger as the clouds started to break up a little. It was just a green blob, nothing special and no real movement, waves or spikes, but you could see it even with the naked eye. After about an hour the clouds moved back in and it went away so I went home to look through my pics and was happy, wasn’t much but how often do we get Aurora here.” End of round one!
Christie kept monitoring the conditions, however. “So it was about 3 AM and I noticed that the Bz was still way south and it looked like something could happen again and it looked like some clearing was moving in. So of course I had to go back out and I’m glad I did. It was still partly cloudy and the skies never cleared all the way, but it was a great show, all kinds of colors, green, red, purple and white with some waves and spikes. It lasted till almost 5 AM when the sun started to brighten up the horizon and the clouds took back over.”
The image above is one of several Christie made that night and we have enhanced it a bit for display here.
Exposure information: Canon EOS Rebel T3 — ISO 3200, f/3.5, 8 sec., 18mm; June 1, 2013 at 4:08 AM.