A Quick Pre Shoot Checklist For Shooting The Lunar Eclipse Tomorrow

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This october is quite a fest for astronomers having both a FULL lunar eclipse tomorrow (Oct. 8th) and a partial solar eclipse on the 23rd.

While the two events are somewhat different in nature, there are some similarities in preparing for both. We asked photographers Josh Bury and Alan Erickson what should we be aware of before going ahead and shooting any of those eclipses?

Like most things in life, the secret is with preparation and Josh and Alan were kind enough to prepare a list for us:

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A Rare ‘Little Planet’ Photograph Featuring The Aurora and The Milky Way

© Fotograf Göran Strand

We have seen many Little Planet photos before, but this little plant is one of the best I’ve seen of our little planet. Photographer Göran Strand took this photo around the autumnal equinox night (September 24th) over Lake Storsjön in Jämtland, Sweden.

This specific time of the year is more prone to Geomagnetic storms (and thereby to Northern lights). Göran’s took a 360° panorama with the Milky Way correctly exposed in the east sky and the Aurora reflecting in the lake to the north. Here is the twist though, before doing the little planet conversion, Göran flipped the photo, putting the skies at the center and the land as the perimeter.

You can follow more of Göran’s work on his website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

[Aurora and Milky Way in a Little Sky | Göran Strand via APOD]

ESO Used A Galaxy-Sized Magnifying Glass To Capture Two Galaxies Collide 7 Billion Years Ago

Merging galaxies in the distant Universe through a gravitational

If you thought that the Canon 1200mm is big, wait till you see what the ESO (European South Observatory) used to capture two galaxies collide.

Turns out  that if you have the means you can use another galaxy as a lens in a process called gravitational lensing. A gravitational lens is a big (I mean galaxy-big) object in space, when a celestial object aligned behind it, it acts as a lens, bending the light that goes around it, creating a defacto lens.

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Take Your Night Sky Photography To The Next Level With This Helpful Tutorial

If you have been wanting to try your hand at night sky photography, or just want to improve on the star photos you’ve already taken, you’re in luck. Canon Australia has teamed up with Phil Hart, winner of an Astrofest David Malin Award and creator of some truly brilliant astrophotography shots, to put together a video tutorial that will help you out with everything from selecting the right tripod to exposure settings.

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After Watching This Timelapse You’ll Be Lining Up For Tickets To Next Years Burning Man

burningman_timelapseI recall a friend once passionately trying to convince me of the greatness of their favorite musician by explaining how the music was so good it caused my colleague existential despair by thinking nothing he ever created would be able to transcend, surpass, or even just achieve the same level of magnificence as the musicians work. Now, having watched this timelapse fresh out of Burning Man, I can honestly say I know what it’s like being able to relate to that feeling.

The photography of Roy Two Thousand and his second shooters, August Winkelman and Connor McNeill, is outstanding. This, of course, isn’t entirely surprising considering some of the other gems that can be found in Roy Two Thousand’s portfolio, including The Fertile Desert, which served as an inspiration to make Lake of Dreams.

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Buzz Aldrin On Taking Self Portraits In Space (Plus, A New Service That Let’s You Make Your Own Space Selfie?!)

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Let’s be real, space selfies are light years better than the average Instagram styled selfie. Photos taken of space from space are like the ultimate travel photos. It probably has something to do with the fact that some astronauts, like Buzz Aldrin, were orbiting earth at speeds of 17,000 mph and just casually snapped a selfie like what they’re doing is no big deal.  As Aldrin explains in the interview below, he was supposed to be photographing ultraviolet stars, but when the sun rose and he could no longer see the stars, he turned the camera on himself because he was curious to see what it would like and, you know, why not?.

Listen as Aldrin tells the story behind pioneering the space selfie, then read on to see how you can take a space selfie of your own.

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The Disposable Camera Astronauts Have Sent On A Suicide Mission To Capture Photos Of Burning Spacecraft

Artists rendering of ATV-5  burning up during reentry into earth's atmosphere.

Artists rendering of ATV-5 burning up during reentry into earth’s atmosphere. (Photo by ESA)

The European Space Agency (ESA) is launching a camera into space via a supply ferry, the Automated Transfer Vehicle 5 (ATV-5) which headed to the International Space Station. Launching cameras into space isn’t particularly rare in itself, but this camera is kinda special. The Automated Transfer Vehicle Break-Up Camera was designed in just nine short months by team members of the ESA specifically for this mission. The Break-Up Camera is a disposable infrared camera that will photograph the reentry of the  ATV back into earth’s atmosphere where it is destined to burn up in a blaze of glory. [Read more...]

A Detailed, Informative, and Simple Introduction Into the World of Astrophotography

Out of everything I’ve got on my camera’s bucket list, the night sky is what’s always intimidated me the most. I look at so many amazing photos of the Milky Way, or of billions of stars with absolutely no light pollution at all, and I find myself saying it’d be impossible for me to take something like that. If you’ve ever considered trying to get into night photography, you know how overwhelming it can feel at first. Mark Gee will be the first person out of any to tell you that going into it will require some serious patience. But like anything, if you put in the right amount of effort with the right amount of heart, that patience will ultimately pay off. To help out on getting started with astrophotography, Mark Gee wrote a tutorial that goes over almost everything we need to know.

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A Beautiful 4 Years Timelapse Showing A Star Exploding 20,000 Years Ago

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While this star exploded about 20,000 years ago (and captured on film starting  12 years ago), NASA has just released a mesmerizing time lapse showing its explosion and death and trippy music.

The star called was captured by the Hubble space telescope “erupting” about 10 years ago, emitting a flash-bulb like burst of light, illuminating the interstellar dust.

Just to get a sense of scale, the image is 13.6 light-years wide, this is not even at the scale of our solar system which is roughly 8 light-hours wide. [Read more...]

10 Tips For Photographing Meteor Showers (Get Reay For Tomorrow’s Shower!)

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Photographing a meteor shower is more like photographing a time-lapse than traditional still photos. You can never anticipate where or when a meteor is going to streak across the sky. In order to catch them you have to set up and take as many photos as you can throughout the night with a wide angle lens on the camera. If you leave the camera in the same position you can use the resulting images for a short time-lapse clip in addition to the still images you can capture.

On May 24, 2014 and through Memorial Day weekend, we are about to pass through a brand new comet tail.  Not much is known about this meteor shower, but we do know the debris was created by a comet passing through this area of space in the 1800s. The best viewing will be in the Northern Hemisphere (Southern Canada and the continental US). As with all meteor showers it could be a dud or it could be great. The meteors will be radiating from the north in the constellation Camelopardalis and should be visible all night in the northern hemisphere. [Read more...]