A most memorable vacation photo

Photo: The Milky Way by Alan Studt
Milky Way Rising – Photo by Alan Studt – Click to Enlarge

Cuyahoga Astronomical Association member Alan Studt captured this wonderful photo of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, under some fairly challenging circumstances the night of May 23. He and his wife, Gale, were on vacation in Massachusetts when a celestial photo op presented itself.

“That … night happened to be the only clear night in the forecast during our vacation so I had to check it out. We were staying about six miles east of Hyannis in West Dennis, just a five-minute drive from the south shoreline of Cape Cod.

“The beach parking lot gates get locked at midnight and the ‘Teapot’ in Sagittarius didn’t clear the horizon until 11:45, so I didn’t have a lot of time to shoot. I didn’t know where else to go to stay out later until the Milky Way was higher so I had to to accept what I could get.

“The weather conditions were not great. Temps in the mid-40s with at least a steady 25 MPH wind gusting to 35 MPH. Gale thinks it was faster since the car was shaking when she went back in to wait for me. My tripods blew over before I hung bags with bottles of water, extra lenses and shoes on them… the cameras were not attached at the time.”

So, even under pressure of time and weather, Studt came home with something truly out-of-this-world as a memorable vacation photo: a sea of stars!

Studt’s Photo Notes: Looking out over Nantucket Sound/Atlantic Ocean. Three horizontal shots layered together in Photoshop. 90-degree view – east to south. Taken at West Dennis Beach, Massachusetts on a very windy evening just before midnight. The lights in the distance on the right are from Nantucket Island, 30 miles south. On the left, down at the end of the beach is The Lighthouse Inn, an old lighthouse that is now a restaurant. There was a waxing First Quarter Moon about — maybe 30 degrees — above the horizon in the west. Nikon D600, 24mm, f3.5, ISO 6400, 20 seconds. Processed in Lightroom & Photoshop CC

Splendid photo of the space station

Photo: Starry background with streaking space station trail 8-6-2012. Credit: Dave Nuti.
The ISS crosses the sky in brilliant fashion in this image by Dave Nuti.

CAA member Dave Nuti was all set to photograph a brilliant pass of the International Space Station visible from Northeastern Ohio the night of August 6, 2012. The pass was to take the ISS across an area near the heart of the Milky Way as seen from here. Nuti’s result was a splendid view of the night sky, galactic star clouds floating, dotted by suns closer in. The image even captured bright patches — star clusters in our galaxy — on that clear night. Constellation fans will notice the “teapot” of Sagittarius just to the left of center, and the stars of Scorpius spanning the left side of Nuti’s picture.

Technical Info — Nikon D70: ISO 1600, f/4.5, ~45 seconds, 20mm, August 6, 2012, from Letha House Park, near Spencer, Ohio. Photo by Dave Nuti.