Friday (27-March-2020) — New Jersey

Backyard Spring Nighttime Sky Over New Jersey.

Star Trails looking up and west. Only about an hour with limited clouds. Not many jet trails crossing the western sky as air travel has been significantly curtailed. One meteor trail in the second image.

Star Trails looking up. Composite of images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 8-15 mm fisheye lens (ISO 800, 11 mm, f/8, 30 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Star Trails looking up. Composite of images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 8-15 mm fisheye lens (ISO 800, 11 mm, f/8, 30 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Star Trails looking up. Composite of images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 8-15 mm fisheye lens (ISO 800, 11 mm, f/8, 30 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Star Trails looking up. Composite of images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 8-15 mm fisheye lens (ISO 800, 11 mm, f/8, 30 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Star Trails looking west. Composite of images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 19 mm f/4 PC-E lens (ISO 800, 19 mm, f/8, 120 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Star Trails looking west. Composite of images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 19 mm f/4 PC-E lens (ISO 800, 19 mm, f/8, 120 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (61.2 kWh) from Sense Home Energy Monitor and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (71.5 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Lots of sunshine. A surplus of 10.3 kWh.

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Thursday (30-January-2020) — New Jersey

Wintertime Backyard Night Sky Over New Jersey.

The night sky was clear and I haven’t done star trails for some time (Part 2). I set up a Nikon D810a camera with a 19 mm PC-E lens (ISO 800, 19 mm, f/8, 120 sec) on my patio looking south to collect a series of night sky images. The images were processed with Capture One Pro and the composite star trails created using Photoshop CC (scripts, statistics, maximum). The images were converted to B&W with Capture One Pro.


Click on the above image to access my PhotoShelter gallery with the individual images in the following slideshow.



Click on the above image to access my PhotoShelter gallery with the individual images in the following slideshow.


Daily Electric Energy Used (85.6 kWh) from Sense Home Energy Monitor and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (38.8 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Sunny with some clouds developing during the day. A deficit of 46.8 kWh.

Current Weather Conditions


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Wednesday (29-January-2020) — New Jersey

Wintertime Backyard Night Sky Over New Jersey.

The night sky was clear and I haven’t done star trails for some time. I set up a Nikon D850 camera with a 8-15 mm fisheye lens (ISO 800, 15 mm, f/8, 30 sec) on my patio to collect a series of night sky images. The images were processed with Capture One Pro and the composite star trails created using Photoshop CC (scripts, statistics, maximum).


Click on the above image to access my PhotoShelter gallery with the individual images in the following slideshow.



Click on the above image to access my PhotoShelter gallery with the individual images in the following slideshow.


Daily Electric Energy Used (78.2 kWh) from Sense Home Energy Monitor and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (39.5 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. A sunny day. A deficit of 38.7 kWh.

Current Weather Conditions


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Ten-Years Ago (31-August-2009) — Alaska

Gone to See North America Road Trip. Day 10: Alaska Marine Highway on the MV Columbia. Haines, Alaska.

After arriving at Haines, Alaska we disembarked from the MV Columbia. I could have slept in the RV, but decided to splurge and spend the night at the Halsingland Hotel (B&B). They even put benchmarks in the ground to mark the location of hotels in Haines — 118 feet above mean sea level. I set a camera up looking out my window to capture night sky star trails. I also managed to capture Northern Lights which I was not expecting.

Hotel Halsingland Bench Mark -- 118 Feet Above Mean Sea Level. Image taken with a Nikon D300 camera and 18-300 mm lens (ISO 200, 200 mm, f/5.6, 1/160 sec) (David J Mathre)
Hotel Halsingland Bench Mark — 118 Feet Above Mean Sea Level. Image taken with a Nikon D300 camera and 18-300 mm lens (ISO 200, 200 mm, f/5.6, 1/160 sec) (David J Mathre)


Click on the above image to access the individual images in the slideshow.


Three-Years Ago (27-August-2016) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Night Sky Over New Jersey.

Star and jet trails plus clouds. Images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 14 mm, f/4, 120 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro, and the composite generated with Photoshop CC (statistics, maximum). One problem I continue to have is moisture condensing on the lens as temperature cool over the night. Especially with wide angle lenses with lots of glass surface area. You can see how the condensation blurs things in the final image. I’ve read about adding electrical resistance thermal tape to heat the lens, but worry about damage and optical artifacts. I’ve also added a time-lapse video of the night sky show.

Star Trails and Clouds Looking South. Composite of 50 images (01-50) taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 14 mm, f/4, 120 sec). (David J Mathre)
Star Trails and Clouds Looking South. Composite of 50 images (01-50) taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 14 mm, f/4, 120 sec). (David J Mathre)
Star Trails and Clouds Looking South. Composite of 50 images (51-100) taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 14 mm, f/4, 120 sec). (David J Mathre)
Star Trails and Clouds Looking South. Composite of 50 images (51-100) taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 14 mm, f/4, 120 sec). (David J Mathre)
Star Trails and Clouds Looking South. Composite of 50 images (101-150) taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 14 mm, f/4, 120 sec). (David J Mathre)
Star Trails and Clouds Looking South. Composite of 50 images (101-150) taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 14 mm, f/4, 120 sec). (David J Mathre)
Star Trails and Clouds Looking South. Composite of 50 images (151-200) taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 14 mm, f/4, 120 sec). (David J Mathre)
Star Trails and Clouds Looking South. Composite of 50 images (151-200) taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 14 mm, f/4, 120 sec). (David J Mathre)