Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Starry Achnaha Skies

Many thanks to Andrew Pote for sending me these pictures, taken last week from his Dad's house at
Achnaha. Andrew says, "We were hoping to see the northern lights but there was only one clear night with no activity, although after processing the images there was a little glow in the distance but this was not visible to the eye."

The Diary, who struggles to get pictures of a starry night to work, is intrigued as to how Andrew managed to capture this wonderful starry sky AND the two people at the front - did they have to stand still for 30 seconds?

Andrew also did a time-lapse video.  He may have missed a spectacular aurora, but the number of meteors in this clip is impressive.

Many thanks, Andrew.


  1. Most of the objects moving in the time-lapse are satellites, there are only 3 meteors in the 100 frames. If you watch the video frame by frame you can see the satellites moving across the sky most appear in 2-3 frames.

    100 Images
    Video is running at 15 frames per second.
    Each frame is taken as a raw image for more control when processing.
    25 secs exposure
    ISO 3200
    with a 4 second gap between each frame.

    For the photo of us I fired the flash at the start of the 25 sec exposure then we had to stand still for the rest of the exposure.

    In order to focus I focused to and marked infinity on the lens using tape during the day at 18mm so I could just align the marker in the dark.

  2. Well done Andrew, I know through experience that it is not an easy matter to capture the night sky. The top photograph shows the Milkyway clearly, complete with dust lanes. The next photograph shows a fuzzy star to our left of the two people. This is the Andromeda galaxy M31, the closest galaxy to us and visible without a telescope. At the top of the same frame 1/5th from the left, is another bright patch. This is the Double Cluster in Perseus, a pair of open star clusters which are young and blue - also visible to the naked eye. More starry sky photos please!

  3. Many thanks, Andrew. Way beyond my limited capabilities, but well worth it for the result! Jon

  4. Thank you for the excellent images, Andrew. What gear do you use?

  5. What marvellous photos, thank you so much for sharing!

  6. We used a Canon 1100D with stock 18-55mm lens all the images were taken in RAW and processed using Adobe Camera Raw. I used a cheap tripod to hold the camera so for the time lapse I had to weight it down with some string and weights to ensure there was no movement between each image. Photos are taken at 18mm f3.5. Would like to buy a wider angle lens in the future to get images with even more of the sky in them.