Wednesday (04-November-2015) — New Jersey

Backyard Autumn Night Sky over New Jersey: Star and Jet Trails Looking South

Night and early morning star and jet trails. Also, two very faint meteor trails. Composite of 193 images taken with a Nikon D810A camera and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E camera (ISO 200, 24 mm, f/5.6, 120 sec). Raw images processed with Lightroom (to convert the RAW image to TIF) and Photoshop CC.

Star and jet trails. Southern view from my backyard. Composite of images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 200, 24 mm, f/5.6, 120 sec). (David J Mathre)
Star and jet trails. Southern view from my backyard. Composite of images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 200, 24 mm, f/5.6, 120 sec). (David J Mathre)

Nine-Years Ago (04-November-2006) — New Jersey

Backyard Autumn Night Sky Over New Jersey: Star and Jet Trails

Learning from mistakes. It took a while to figure out how to make star trail images with a digital camera. My first attempts to do long exposures ran into problems with digital sensor noise, the length of time the shutter could remain open, and camera battery life — especially on cold nights. The camera had an option for “long exposure noise reduction”, however this required taking a second exposure with the shutter closed and then subtracting the sensor closed image from the sensor open image. The result is missing every other exposure needed for a smooth composite star trail image.

Star trails looking southeast from my backyard. Composite of 27 images taken with a Nikon D2xs camera and 17-35 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 17 mm, f/2.8, 28 sec). (David J Mathre)
Star trails looking southeast from my backyard. Composite of 27 images taken with a Nikon D2xs camera and 17-35 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 17 mm, f/2.8, 28 sec). (David J Mathre)

Other than the Big Dipper, Orion was probably the second constellation I learned to recognize.