Milky Way at 150mm with my MSM

So I’ve finally been getting a bit of use out of Move Shoot Move 2-in-1 Star Tracker & Rotator for actual star tracking sessions of late. I’ve used the rotator function of this device extensively, a function that to my mind almost justifies the cost of this device on its own merit. The star tracker however wasn’t quite working for me. With Australia being in the Southern Hemisphere, I had no bright pole star to align too even if the star pointer laser was legal. I went with the polar scope option with my purchase, however simply could not positively identify Sigma Octantis, the tiny magnitude 5.5 pole star for the Southern Hemisphere, through the scope no matter how hard I tried. I retired myself to the idea that I was going to have to make do with blind alignment using apps on my phone for a “near enough” polar alignment for which only wide focal lengths could be used without trails. To date, I have been quite pleased with how wrong I’ve been about this.

Continue reading “Milky Way at 150mm with my MSM”

Suburban Skies

With the world going into lock down as a result of the Covid-19 virus, much has changed. I found myself becoming increasingly restless, just wanting to get out there away from the city lights to shoot the night sky. Obviously this wasn’t something that I could do, capturing the milky way was just off the menu, so instead I captured a number of suburban skies from my home in a Bortle 5 area. Regardless of this reduced clarity, the night sky remains completely captivating.

Spin Cycle

With much of the planet in lock-down due to covid-19, it really does offer an opportunity to stand back and evaluate what we have and what really matters. As we head into late Autumn here in the Southern Hemisphere, the break from the daily grind resulting from this virus has given pause to really appreciate some of the natural beauty in my local surrounds. As a landscape astrophotographer I am often roaming the country in all directions scouting locations and returning at unsociable hours to capture the stars. The somewhat ironic situation of having a sky void of aeroplanes without being able to get out into the countryside away from light pollution to photography the clear night sky isn’t lost on me. Still, the constraints of the current situation do force the creative side to find a way. For me, this has been revisiting star trail photography where the facing the celestial pole gives an appearance of being caught up in the ultimate cosmic spin cycle.

Continue reading “Spin Cycle”