Photographer Shane Murphy has written up an informative step-by-step tutorial on how you can photograph the International Space Station as it whizzes by overhead.
First things first, the most important thing to do is to plan well. Forward planning is vital to any night sky shot, along with a steady tripod and a warm coat. There are quite a few websites and twitter feeds that can help you with your planning. Even though it only takes about an hour and a half for the ISS to complete an orbit of the planet, you could be waiting quite some time under the night skies before the station appears above. The station only appears for a short time (about 1-2 weeks) and then re-appears again many weeks later. This is due to the orbit of the station above earth.
You can check out a collection of ISS photographs he has taken here.
Imaging the ISS (via Boing Boing)
Image credit: Photograph by Shane Murphy and used with permission
This past Sunday, Jupiter and Venus put on a show by lining up with our moon (a conjunction). Rick Ellis of Toronto, Canada managed to create the awesome photo of the event seen above by capturing 31 separate frames. Each photo was taken 5 minute apart and had an exposure time of 5 seconds.
One Night, Dozens of Triple Conjunctions (via Geekosystem)
Image credit: Photograph by Rick Ellis
This photo is what you get when you point a massive 4.1 meter telescope (VISTA in Chile) at an unremarkable patch of night sky and capture six thousand separate exposures that provide an effective “shutter speed” of 55 hours. It’s an image that contains more than 200,000 individual galaxies, each containing countless stars and planets (to put the image into perspective, the famous Hubble Ultra-Deep Field contains “only” around 10,000 galaxies). And get this: this view only shows a tiny 0.004% of the entire sky!
NASA has released a gigantic catalog of the night sky that contains more than 563 million stars, galaxies, asteroids, planets, and objects. The images were captured by the infrared cameras of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission, which has been collecting data for the past two years. After capturing more than 2.7 million images of the sky, NASA created an epic panorama showing the entire sky by stitching together 18,000 of those images. You can view the panorama in a zoomable browser here or download the 180MP/73.5MB photograph here.
Mapping the Infrared Universe: The Entire WISE Sky (via Quesabesde)
“Global Rainbow” is an outdoor art installation by Yvette Mattern that consists of seven high powered lasers projecting a bright rainbow across the night sky. The rainbow was originally displayed in New York in 2009, but has since appeared in cities across the UK. If you’re lucky enough to see the project in real life, be sure to take some photographs — it’s not every day you get to enjoy rainbows at night.
Time-lapse photographer Randy Halverson (whose time-lapse of lightning storms we featured last year) is back again with another epic time-lapse film. This one is packed with shots of some of the most beautiful things you can point your camera at in the night sky: the Milky Way, auroras, and shooting stars. It’s composed of thousands of 15-30 second exposures captured with a Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 60D at ISO 1600-6400, f/2.8, and 3 second intervals. Keep your eyes peeled at 53 seconds: you get to see a shooting star with a Persistent Train, which is the ionized gas left behind as the meteor burns up in our atmosphere!
Swedish photographer Göran Strand created this amazing “little planet” photo (AKA a stereographic projection) that shows the Aurora Borealis overhead. He titled it “Planet Aurora”.
(via APOD via My Modern Met)
Image credit: Photograph by Göran Strand and used with permission
Babak Tafreshi of The World at Night created this beautiful time-lapse video of star gazers looking into the heavens while the stars sweep across the night sky. Check out Tafreshi’s beautiful astrophotography here.
NASA photographer Lauren Harnett captured this photograph of the International Space Station passing in front of the moon. What’s amazing is that it didn’t require any fancy astronomy equipment — Harnett was shooting from a parking lot using a Nikon D3S, 600mm lens, 2x teleconverter, heavy duty tripod and sandbag, and a remote shutter release. She shot at 1/1600, f/8, and ISO 2500 in burst mode, and then combined the resulting photographs into this one image.
Space Station Crossing Face of Moon (Thanks Warren!)
Image credit: Photograph by Lauren Harnett/NASA
Astrophotographer Stéphane Guisard captured this time-lapse video showing Comet Lovejoy rising above the Andes mountains like a giant paintbrush stroke across the sky. Guisard shot four different sequences with four different lenses to zoom into the scene.