Astronomy Writing    Lecturing    Photography


S K Y   P H O T O   O F   T H E   W E E K

October 28 - November 3, 2010

Moonlight Wildflowers & Startrails

March 2008 was a spectacular time for wildflowers in Southern California's Anza-Borrego Desert, and the air throughout the Borrego Valley was filled with a floral perfume.  On the evening of March 18, the nearly full moon illuminated a broad area of beautiful flowers near the foothills of the Santa Rosa Mountains.  Polaris, the North Star, appears relatively stationary near the center of the concentric star trails.

To photograph star trails as the Earth rotates, one must leave a camera shutter open for many minutes or hoursin this case, 70 minutesand wait for the light of the moving stars to register as trails.  Many current digital cameras, however, are unable to do this well and produce highly-objectionable digital noise in long exposure images.  This was avoided here by taking 127 separate relatively short exposures from 9:19 to 10:29 p.m., and blending them together into one image. 
(c) 2010 Dennis Mammana /   All rights reserved.

  Photo details:  Canon 20D camera body, Canon 14mm f/2.8L lens, ISO 200, 127 exposures over 70
   minutes, each 30 seconds at f/4

  Processing details:  Capture One 5.2.1, Startrails 1.1, Noise Ninja 2.3.2, Photoshop CS2
  Location:  Henderson Canyon Road, Borrego Springs, California, USA


This image is
protected by copyright as defined in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty (Geneva, December 2-20, 1996).  Its use or reproduction without advanced written permission by the photographer is strictly prohibited.  For permissions and fees, please contact Dennis Mammana.


View previous images at the
Sky Photo of the Week Archives

To keep up with other night sky photos and all things celestial, join Dennis' official Facebook page!







(c) Dennis L. Mammana.  All rights reserved.