Posts Tagged: dark skies

Light Pollution : Asterism

Light Pollution : Canis Major Light Pollution : Orion

Wed. May 1, 2019 – Happy May Day – be it of the traditional It’s Spring! style of May Day or the 20th Century Workers Unite! style of May Day.

Even with education, activism, and communities making an attempt to keep the skies in the American West dark, the switch over to more energy efficient lighting on and around homes and in street lights have made communities brighter than ever at night.

Two of the ‘rural’ dark sky spots that even a few years ago I could be astounded at how many stars I could see from a house or yard now are nearly washed out with too much light. Two days ago, I asked one of my brother’s neighbors to please turn off their front patio lights when they go to bed, kindly last night they did so but to little avail.

Rather than doing the currently fashionable photography trick of processing an astrophoto within an inch of its life to have an incongruous scene of lit foreground object with AMAZING Milky Way Photo, I have instead processed these photos as my eye saw them.

How did my eye see these two adjacent scenes last night? Bright street lights casting light domes to light up houses and to wash out the night sky to the point where one only really sees the bright stars in a constellation. While the asterisms were clear, but the detail was scrubbed out.

Please folks, go read the resources of what average folk and cities can do at the IDSA and let’s work at making sure that all of us can see the stars on a clear night.

Let’s wipe out light pollution.


Double click on the photo thumbnails for the larger photos. Both photos were taken by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D850 and a Nikon 50mm f/1.4G lens.

Orion, as seen by my Nokia Lumia 1020


Photo of the Orion constellation taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia Lumia 1020.

Sun 12.22.13 – As most of the regular readers of this blog know, I am forever trying to push the boundaries of what a camera phone can do in terms of photography. I also want to capture the photo with my phone as it is, not as it could be with a lot of editing in Photoshop or Lightroom. My joy comes from taking the photos, not from the editing process.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 has a great sensor and lens, very good low light processing software, as well as the Nokia Pro Cam app that allows one to set the exposure time / shutter speed to 4 seconds max and a max ISO of 4000. In the above cropped photo of Orion, I used a shutter speed of 4 seconds and an ISO of 3200 on a tripod. The only editing is the addition of metadata and cropping the photo to focus on Orion.
The full un-cropped photo is up at Flickr, and if you and I follow each other on Flickr you can see the original huge photo here (7712 x 4352 pixels).

And off to the desert I go…

Bee flying between aloe flowers

Photo taken by Ms. Jen last Sunday at the Huntington desert garden with her Nikon D800 and 50mm lens.

Sun 12.22.13 – I am off for 24 hours in Glamis to take photos and do some pretty darned dark sky star peeping – providing my brother will drive me out to darker skies in his sand rail.
Yes, I have brought 3 pairs of ear plugs with me.