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Steve Price
IBEX Hardpan Back Country Airstrip, UT
01:53 am

Equipment Details:

Sony a7s with Rokinon 24mm lens, f/2.8, ISO 6400, 30 second exposure, Move Shoot Moves rotator star tracker, tripod, intervalometer.

Post-processing Details:

Single 30 second exposure of both sky and foreground. No compositing or stacking. The relatively short exposure allows the foreground to remain mostly blur free when using a wide angle lens. Anything over a minute would show motion blur on the foreground, hence the need for compositing earth and sky together.

Topaz DeNoise, color and contrast enhancement to showcase the massive amount of airglow going on in this image and pretty much all my pics from all three cameras from 1am to 4 am when it began to dissipate.

Image Details:

There was a bit of desert dust and lakebed wind blown silt showing up in most of my images during this session. I couldn't see it in the dead of night until I turned my headlamp on bright white. It was like a micro particle dust storm which is more evident on the right side of the image nearer the lakebed.

The Southwest USA deserts are renowned for the airlgow shows which astrophotographers capture and this night was no exception! Of course it's not visible to the human eye ( unless it's REALLY dark and very active ) but when I loaded the SD cards onto my laptop....WOW! That's a lot of green and red airlgow all over the sky. In a sequence of 5-10 images scrolled through on the laptop I could see the alternating red and green bands moving from the horizon towards me in waves.

NASA says this about airlgow: "Airglow occurs when atoms and molecules in the upper atmosphere, excited by sunlight, emit light to shed their excess energy. "