American in Spain

Extremadura Star Trails

August 22, 2008
Star Trails First Attempt

During the first few days of my summer vacation, I spent some sleepless nights. To take my mind off my troubles, I spent quite a bit of time outside in the corral (an open area behind the house) gazing up at the cloudless night sky.

The following photo is a one-hour exposure looking towards Polaris about which the celestial sphere appears to rotate. I still don't know what made the colored dots that can be seen on the full-sized version. It must be dust or debris on either the lens or CCD sensor (like "film" to you old folks). Or maybe some other kind of signal noise. Star Trails First Attempt

Not bad, huh? In theory each star trail is a perfect 1/24th of an arc.

In a strange coincidence, the antenna pictured was torn down and a new one erected the morning after this photo was taken. Below you can see the new antenna.

You really should watch it in HD on Vimeo, bandwidth permitting. The flickering light is full-bladdered household members turning on and off the bathroom light.