Photographer Isaac Gutiérrez Pascual of Spain shot this beautiful photograph of the sky that contains four different subjects: birds, clouds, the Moon, and Venus. It was shot using a Canon 5D and a 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens. NASA writes,
[...] a crescent Moon and the planet Venus, on the far right, were captured during sunset posing against a deep blue sky. In the foreground, dark storm clouds loom across the image bottom, while a white anvil cloud shape appears above. Black specks dot the frame, caused by a flock of birds taking flight. Very soon after this picture was taken, however, the birds passed by, the storm ended, and Venus and the Moon set.
NASA liked the image so much that it even considered using the photo as a backdrop for a group portrait of the International Space Station crew (they ended up choosing a different one).
(via Isaac GP via APOD)
Image credit: Photograph by Isaac Pascual and used with permission
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
Alex MacLean is a Massachusetts-based photographer and pilot who uses his dual interests to create epic aerial photographs.
Alex MacLean has flown his plane over much of the United States documenting the landscape. Trained as an architect, he has portrayed the history and evolution of the land from vast agricultural patterns to city grids, recording changes brought about by human intervention and natural processes. His powerful and descriptive images provide clues to understanding the relationship between the natural and constructed environments.
Skycatcher Wallpaper is a monumental display created by artists Jonathan Puckey and Luna Maurer. It’s composed of a whopping 88,000 individual photographs of the sky above Amsterdam captured over two years with the camera snapping a photo every five minutes. Each vertical strip contains 144 photographs and shows exactly one day. The gradual change in the number of daylight hours results in fluctuations in the shape of the blue daylight sections of the wallpaper.
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