Night Sky Photo: The Hunter and the Wolf
Posted by danspira
(#16 of 27, on the theme of exploration, as articulated by the ever-cosmic Carl Sagan)
At this time of year my favorite constellation Orion (aka, the “Hunter”) rises up in the sky in the middle of the night. Orion is followed closely by the bright blue-eyed Sirius (aka the “Wolf Star,” or Canus Major), and later still, by the smaller pup Canus Minor.
This is my first, rather shaky attempt at long exposure night time photography using an iPhone camera. Note the neighbor’s house poking into the bottom right corner of the frame, along with some ghostly trees, a couple of electrical lines and a red glow from a LED on a utility pole. Although I’d need a bit more gear (e.g. a very firm tripod) to make this even semi-professional looking, I was pleased with just how many stars emerged in this shot… many more than I could detect with my eyes.
Winter is a time of nocturnal productivity for me, where the lack of sunlight causes my clock to shift towards my natural, night-owl rhythm. It’s also a time when I like to explore new ideas and new potential paths for the coming year… a time of wandering and craving for “undiscovered lands,” as Sagan put it.
While working at night during the winter I often find myself stepping outside for a break around midnight. The air is quiet and crisp. There are no clouds in the sky. I look up and see Orion pursuing his goal. I imagine him holding a laptop case instead of a weapon. He has things to do, places to go, projects to complete, business to win, worlds to explore.
As for Orion’s faithful friend Sirius, I think about how its twinkling eye is actually two stars — a binary star system in close orbit. That’s one clever dog. With a companion like that, Orion is sure to succeed.
I go back inside where it’s warm and continue working.