Wednesday (31-January-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Winter Night Sky Over New Jersey — Full Moon.

There has been a lot of media hype over the full moon that would be visible tonight (weather permitting). It is the second full moon in January, so it is a “blue moon”. It is closer to earth at this point in its orbit around the earth so it is a “super moon”. And finally, there will be a lunar eclipse, so a “red” or “blood” moon. Yesterday had been rain, snow, and rain so I wasn’t expecting to even be able to see the moon. As I was going to bed around midnight, I noticed that it was very bright out. I could see the moon directly out my window since it was so high in the sky. So I ended up having to go outside to see it. It was bitterly cold and windy, but the moon was visible. I wasn’t going to stay out very long, and didn’t want to set up a tripod — so the first image was taken hand-held looking almost straight up. I woke up again at 06:00 to see if any of the eclipse would be visible. Here in New Jersey, it would only be visible just before sunrise. The only view I got was one where the moon was going behind the trees. One note that the media forgot to mention, there will not be a full moon in February.

Full (Blue, Super) Moon at Midnight. Winter Night Sky in New Jersey. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens (ISO 200, 400 mm, f/18, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Full (Blue, Super) Moon at Midnight. Winter Night Sky in New Jersey. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens (ISO 200, 400 mm, f/18, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Full (Blue, Super, Blood) Moon at Midnight. Winter Night Sky in New Jersey. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens (ISO 200, 400 mm, f/16, 1/125 sec). (David J Mathre)
Full (Blue, Super, Blood) Moon at 06:00. Winter Night Sky in New Jersey. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens (ISO 200, 400 mm, f/16, 1/125 sec). (David J Mathre)

Three-Years Ago (15-January-2015) — New Jersey

Backyard Winter Night Sky Over New Jersey — Comet Lovejoy.

It was cold, but very clear out on the night I got some images of Comet Lovejoy. I set up a Nikon D4 camera with a 58 mm f/1.8 lens to take 5 second exposures. Normally, when shooting star trails I go for longer exposures. The comet was visible as a faint, fuzzy blue-green ball. Three different views — still images (with different crops), as star trails, and a time-lapse video


Star Trails and Comet Lovejoy on a cold but clear winter night. The comet is the blue-green fuzzy streek moving from the center to the right of the photograph. Composite of 379 images taken with a Nikon D4 camera and 58 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 800, 58 mm, f/2, 5 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro, and Photoshop CC. (David J Mathre)
Star Trails and Comet Lovejoy on a cold but clear winter night. The comet is the blue-green fuzzy streek moving from the center to the right of the photograph. Composite of 379 images taken with a Nikon D4 camera and 58 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 800, 58 mm, f/2, 5 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro, and Photoshop CC. (David J Mathre)

Six-Years Ago (04-January-2012) — New Jersey

Backyard Winter Night Sky in New Jersey: Star and Meteor Trails.

Winter Night Sky -- Star Trails -- Quadrantids Meteors. Composite of 122 images taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/2, 59 sec) combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
Winter Night Sky — Star Trails — Quadrantids Meteors. Composite of 122 images taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/2, 59 sec) combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)

Six-Years Ago (03-January-2012) — New Jersey

Backyard Winter Night Sky in New Jersey: Star Trails North and South.

Star and jet trails looking north from my deck. Composite of 368 images taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 24 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/2, 59 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro, and the composite created using Photoshop CC (scripts, statistics, maximum), followed by Silver Efex Pro to convert the image to B&W. (David J Mathre)
Star and jet trails looking north from my deck. Composite of 368 images taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 24 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/2, 59 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro, and the composite created using Photoshop CC (scripts, statistics, maximum), followed by Silver Efex Pro to convert the image to B&W. (David J Mathre)


Star, moon, and jet trails looking south from my deck. Composite of 361 images taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 24 mm, f/4, 59 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W), and the composite created using Photoshop CC (scripts, statistics, maximum). (David J Mathre)
Star, moon, and jet trails looking south from my deck. Composite of 361 images taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 24 mm, f/4, 59 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W), and the composite created using Photoshop CC (scripts, statistics, maximum). (David J Mathre)