Day 305: July 27, 2005 - Milky Way Checkboard Mesa

by Christian & Karen Williams
This photo was a group effort, with Karen behind the camera and Chris in front of the pine trees in the foreground "painting" the Checkboard Mesa with a large spotlight. The camera was on a tripod and set to a 30 second long exposure, which gave us enough time to shine the spotlight over the surface of the Mesa. The ISO was set to 3200 to boost the light absorption of the imaging sensor and allow the detail of the stars to show through. A high ISO adds quiet a lot of grain to the photo, but was necessary because too long of a shutter speed would cause the stars to "blur" as the earth rotates. If the camera were attached to a telescope, which could compensate for the rotation of the earth, we could have used a longer shutter speed, without the high ISO.

In this photograph, you can clearly see the various stars and nebula and gas clouds which are thousands of light years away. On a clear, late night in Zion, it's possible to see this section of the Milky Way with your visible eye. Living in the city, it's easy to forget how wondrous the heavens appear in the dark of night.

1 comment:

Harmony said...

Wow! Awesome photo!

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365 Days in Zion is a photo experience by Karen and Christian Williams. Together, we spent an entire year in Zion National Park amidst snow, rain, flash floods, brush fires, and the beautiful sunny blue skies that typify Southern Utah in the United States of America.

365 Days in Zion National Park

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