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Photography Science

A Million Dazzling Stars Are Revealed in a New Infrared Photograph of the Carina Nebula

September 17, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

A new photograph of the Carina Nebula, a complex group of bright and dark nebulae in the constellation Carina, has just been released by the European Southern Observatory. The original image is 140 megapixels, which clocks in as a 344MB download (don’t try this at home, kids) and contains about one million stars.

As explained by astronomer and science communicator Phil Plait, “The colors you see here are not what you’d see with your eye, since it’s all infrared. What’s shown as blue is actually 0.88 microns, or a wavelength just outside what your eye can see. Green is really 1.25 microns and red is 2.15, so both are well into the near-infrared. Even in the infrared, a lot of gas and dust still are visible. That’s because there’s a whole bunch of it here. And it’s not just randomly strewn around; patterns are there when you look for them.”

Plait continues on to clarify that the purpose of such an impressive photo isn’t just for eye candy: astronomers use such images to conduct star censuses. Below are two details of the photo, where you can get a better sense of the extreme density of stars captured in the massive image. (via Kottke)

 

 



Photography

A Bright Mars and its Golden Reflection Captured off the Coast of Rhode Island

July 18, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Last week Boston-based astrophotographer Abdul Dremali captured a glowing Mars as it rose above a Rhode Island beach. In the image it rests just beneath the overhead Milky Way as its powerful reflection forges a golden streak in the water below. Currently the red planet is its brightest since 2003 when it was closer to Earth than it had been in 60,000 years.

“I drove down to Rhode Island for the new moon since that’s the best time to catch the Milky Way,” Dremali tells Colossal. “I knew Mars was near opposition, so I timed to be out there by 10pm when Mars was rising. I’ve captured Mars many times throughout this Milky Way season, but due to a severe Martian storm, and it being so close, it’s brighter than ever.”

Two months ago Dremali photographed Mars from Monument Valley, and then in Joshua Tree National Park just a few days later. If you want to try your own astrophotography make sure to look for what appears to be a bright red star from now until September 7. Mars will temporarily shine brighter than Jupiter, securing a place as the fourth-brightest object in the sky. You can view more of Dremali’s star-spotted images on his Instagram and Twitter, and browse prints for sale in his online shop. (via PetaPixel)

Mars captured in Joshua Tree National Park by Abdul Dremali

Mars captured in Joshua Tree National Park by Abdul Dremali

Mars captured in Monument Valley by Abdul Dremali

Mars captured in Monument Valley by Abdul Dremali

 

 



Animation

A Mt. Everest Time-Lapse Combines a Decade of Himalayan Explorations

June 8, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Adventurer and filmmaker Elia Saikaly has attempted to scale Mt. Everest seven times. Twice he has reached the mountain’s summit, while other times he has survived avalanches, an earthquake, and other life-affirming events during his climbs. Saikaly’s latest short film is a combination of footage from a decade worth of trips to Mt. Everest and the Himalayas. The collected time-lapse videos explore several aspects of the climb, from shots of lights inside the small tents pitched for frigid nights, to brilliant star formations and unexpected waves of cloud cover. You can discover more about his adventures, and the making of this video in particular, via his blog and Instagram. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)

 

 

 



Photography

Swirling Star Trails Captured Over the Namib Desert by Daniel Kordan

May 8, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Russian photographer Daniel Kordan is a master of photographing the cosmos. In 2016 we covered his journey to the Salar de Uyuni, where he captured millions of brilliantly hued stars reflected in the world’s largest salt flat. Recently, Kordan returned from a trip to Namibia where he mapped swirling trails of stars above the Deadvlei, a white clay pan speckled with the 900-year-old tree skeletons, and other sites across the Namib desert.

The images feature vortexes of multi-colored stars streaked across the sky like post-impressionist paintings. The Milky Way’s warm and cool tones intermix to create a kaleidoscopic vision of the sky above, and illuminate the barren desert landscape below. To capture such images yourself, Kordan suggests creating a time lapse with a wide angle lens, and utilizing an app like PhotoPills which allows you to easily predict the position of the stars.

You can see more of Kordan’s exploration through Namibia in the images below, and view his photographs from other locations across the globe on his website and Instagram.

 

 



Illustration

Stippled Black and White Illustrations of Star-Packed Galaxies by Petra Kostova

February 27, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Copenhagen-based graphic designer and illustrator Petra Kostova of Pet & Dot creates dazzling galaxies composed of millions of stippled dots. To produce her concentrated star systems and cloudy nebulas she uses technical pens (either rOtring Rapidograph or Isograph) to draw on black and white paper. Due to the limitations of her color scheme, each work is completely formed through the intensity of her chosen dots—a meditative process which can often take her several weeks or months to complete.

Kostova also produces handmade prints created by a technique called Photogravure, which accurately reproduces her stippled detail. You can find these, and her original drawings, on her website and Instagram.

 

 



Photography

The Night Skies Over Finland & Iceland Saturated with Stars Photographed by Mikko Lagerstedt

September 14, 2017

Christopher Jobson

We’ve long been drawn to self-taught photographer Mikko Lagerstedt’s (previously) dreamy composite photos of Finland and Iceland at night. In his long-exposure images, meteors are seen streaking through the sky and frigid waterfalls appear like mist. Lagerstedt composes and edits all of his images in Lightroom and Photoshop and shares numerous tutorials on his techniques through his website. He most recently returned from a photoshoot at a deserted Yyteri Beach in Finland, more of which he shared on Instagram.

 

 



Photography

A Panoramic Full Eclipse Composite with Star Trails Captured by Stephane Vetter

August 30, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Photograph © Stephane Vetter

In this beautifully rendered “little planet” image, photographer Stephane Vetter fuses both night and day captured from a single location at Magone Lake in Oregon during the August 21st solar eclipse. The shot required tons of careful planning, and here’s an explanation of how he did it via Astronomy Picture of the Day:

This featured little-planet, all-sky, double time-lapse, digitally-fused composite captured celestial action during both night and day from a single location. In this 360×180 panorama, north and south are at the image bottom and top, while east and west are at the left and right edges, respectively. During four hours the night before the eclipse, star trails were captured circling the north celestial pole (bottom) as the Earth spun. During the day of the total eclipse, the Sun was captured every fifteen minutes from sunrise to sunset (top), sometimes in partial eclipse. All of these images were then digitally merged onto a single image taken exactly during the total solar eclipse. Then, the Sun’s bright corona could be seen flaring around the dark new Moon (upper left), while Venus simultaneously became easily visible (top). The tree in the middle, below the camera, is a Douglas fir.

So, just your typical full eclipse, little-planet, all-sky, double time-lapse photo by a fir tree, really. You can see more of Vetter’s photography on his website.