2021—Starry Starry Night

What a starry, starry night! Well, I should say, what a starry, starry morning! Shortly after 5 AM yesterday morning we and our cameras were set up along the Rim Trail at Inspiration Point near where we watched the sun set the night before. Looking up into the clear Utah sky, the stars were thick above us almost as if someone had tossed glitter in the air, the Milky Way strewn across the sky above our heads. When I visit places without light pollution I am always stunned that the Milky Way is visible to the naked eye and that there are so many stars in the heavens. In metropolitan areas like where I live in California, most stars are barely visible except for the very brightest and the Milky Way can’t be seen at all with the naked eye. What a treat to watch the stars move as the Earth rotates. I used my Nikon Z6II and my Nikkor Z 14-30 mm f/4 lens set on a tripod for a 20 second exposure. An exposure much longer than 20 seconds would result in streaks from the stars as they moved. With each subsequent image, the Milky Way appeared to edge slowly across the heavens. All too soon the rising sun brightened the horizon and the stars disappeared from view.