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Night Sky

I’ve Always Been in Awe of the Night Sky

This isn’t exactly about triathlon or people pushing themselves to the limits of human experience.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved to look at the stars.   My older brother had a telescope and would show me constellations, planets, UFOs, etc.  ( I might have made up the UFO part just now ).   When I was old enough to paint glow-in-the-dark dots on my bedroom ceiling, I did just that.  I did it in one of my fraternity rooms at university too.  Soon after purchasing my first camera (an Olympus OM-1 that I still have), I went to the university planetarium and took pictures of the moon through their telescope.

Several year later, I drove out of Tucson one night and up to a lookout point on Mt. Lemon.  My goal was to get a photo of stars circling around Polaris, the North Star.  I had seen pictures of it before: a blur of light circles around a central bright dot.

Polaris star trails

Polaris star trails

I knew I wouldn’t get anything like the photo above, but I figured I could get something close.

By the time I got up to the lookout point, the sky had turned overcast and was even raining a little bit.   That was the last time I seriously tried to get a photo of the night sky.

Fast Forward 28 Years

My old Olympus OM-1 was one hell of a good camera.  Because it was completely manual, I had to learn how to actually use it.  I never was an Instamatic kind of guy.   For those of you who remember the Kodak Brownie… forget it.  ( I don’t even remember it, but there’s a point in there somewhere ).   Today that OM-1 sits in a drawer unused.  It’s broken and would cost more to fix than to find a good used one on Ebay or Amazon.   Until about a year ago, I was relegated to the ranks of the phone camera, which I did use quite a bit.  But then my wife (the other LG) gave me a DSLR camera as a gift. She says it was a Christmas gift; I say it was a Winter Solstice Celebration gift.  Whatever!  It’s an awesome gift.  I love it.  I use it mostly for videos, but I do take a lot of stills.

So back to my discussion on the night sky.  I live in rural Pender County, North Carolina.  Pender County is all rural, but my address is so rural that Lewis and Clark were my realtors (according to Marty anyway).  There is a bit of light pollution, but not as much as most places in the Eastern US.   Some mornings when I step outside at 4am, I look to the sky and just stand there staring.  Which brings me to the other night when I stayed up and photographed Polaris from 9pm to 3am.   I took a series of photos and put them together in a time lapse video.  The shots from the other night are at the very end of the video.

Here’s the results:

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