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Backyard Star Trails | by Joshua Bury
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Backyard Star Trails

This one's not from the dark sky that my recent posts have been from. Just decided the other night to try some star trails so I set my camera on a tripod in the backyard and set the interval timer and went to bed. This shot represents 6 hours of the Earth turning beneath the stars.

 

One thing to note, Polaris, the North Star, is not exactly lined up with the Earth's rotational axis. It is about a half degree away from the pole. Because of this, for astrophotography at least, it is not accurate enough to align your telescope's mount to Polaris for good tracking.

 

I boosted the saturation a little in this one to emphasize the wide range of colors displayed by the stars. (Also, for any nit-pickers out there, no I didn't take or subtract darks, so yes, there are plenty of hot pixels in there.)

 

Lens: 11mm, f/4.5

Camera: Nikon D200

Exposures: 658x30s, 5s between shots

 

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Taken on July 26, 2009