Star Trails. Following Hurricane Irene, we had a couple of days and nights with very clear skies. You could even see the Milky Way (although a lot dimmer than in locations with less light pollution). I set up a Nikon D3s camera with a 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens to do star trails last night. The settings on the camera were manual (ISO 400, 16 mm, f/4, bulb). The exposure time was controlled with a MC-36 itervelometer (delay 5 sec, long 59 sec, interval 1 sec, N —). In camera long exposure noise reduction was turned off. The 1 second interval is required to allow the data to get transferred from the camera to the card, and effectively have one image taken every 60 seconds (1 minute). The MC-36 is required for exposures longer than 30 seconds. After the images were transferred to the computer, the RAW images were processed with Lightroom, and converted to JPG. The JPG images were then processed using Startrails.exe program to make composites. The following images show a single exposure, then startrail composites of 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 120 minutes, and 300 minutes. Some high level clouds came in for the 300 minute (5 hour) image.
I used the images taken overnight to create a time-lapse video of the night sky. Although faint, you can see the Milky Way in New Jersey. The time-lapse video was created using Adobe PhotoShop CS5 and Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.