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Circles In The Sky


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#1 TrailEx

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 02:20 AM

Haven't done any night-time shooting in a while, and first time in extreme cold (about -10 F tonight). Combine that with a terrible location (side of a road that was much busier than I was expecting) and my rushed composition (center it on Polaris and go!) and I was not expecting anything useful for my first outing. However, this star-trail came out pretty well after some aggressive post-processing. And none of my gear failed in the cold despite keeping it running for a solid 40 minutes while I retreated to my car, so that was good news! I think once I find a better location and try to incorporate the ground into the composition things will be looking pretty good.

 

If you've never shot star trails before, you may not be aware that the view of the sky is greatly dependent on your latitude. The position of the Earth's axis of rotation is located at the same angle in the sky as the latitude you are in. So for Fairbanks at 64 degrees N latitude, Polaris is 64 degrees up in the night sky.

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  • 20171224-StarStaX_FT-1-FT-9_lighten.jpg


#2 Roderick

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 09:50 AM

Brilliant!



#3 geedee

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 09:55 AM

Interesting..



#4 MarkM

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 09:52 PM

Interesting indeed!
So does that mean as I go further South the perfect circle star trail becomes oblong? Because Polaris would be lower in the sky?

#5 TrailEx

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 10:39 PM

Oblong is not the right word... as you go further south the circles get cut-off by the horizon line. Once you're in the tropics the bottom half of the "bulls eye" is mostly obscured by the ground. And of course once you pass the equator Polaris is no longer visible at all and you'll instead be seeing circles around the southern axis of rotation.



#6 Roderick

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 08:13 AM

Mark, Download Stellarium - free for the PC and Mac, a few cents for an Android phone.

Its a great virtual planetarium.  Very useful for plotting your night shoots, finding the milky way or just finding out what the sky will look like in the year 2525 ( name that band).

You can change your location, speed up or slow down the passage of time, show satellites, planets all sorts of celestial objects.

So, with a little poking about you could simulate the photograph that TrailEx made, and animate it. B)

Happy Christmas.



#7 MarkM

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 02:03 PM

I gotta get Stellarium.
Dang! I can hear the melody Rod, but can’t place the band’s name. (I won’t cheat and look it up). Perfect song for this section of the forum.

#8 Roderick

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 09:19 AM

Haha, Mark.

zager and evans



#9 rospondek

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 02:07 PM

Near Polaris or Southern Void (sorry south people, you have center of the sky in the point blank space :D) stars will always make perfect circles. The center will be higher or closer to the horizon. That's the whole difference.

 

The other nice thing to photograph is the celestial equator. The place where stars will move along straight line. Which looks soooomething like that (yellow line on the second photo). My old photo (2016) of the eastern sky.

25f6f0b078efec2f7bae69ca_rw_1920.jpg?h=a

fdd78090aa2c0767cfeeed23_rw_1920.jpg?h=c

 

And even older photo (2015) of stars movement through 112 minutes. Sorry for 'not Polaris in the center' but I was catching ISS ;)

ea0c87a8884d341058e11c80_rw_1920.jpg?h=1

 

Long time I wasn't shooting any stars... :(



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