Well, North Norfolk has enjoyed a few instances of cloudless skies over the past week or so, so I took advantage of the breaks in the weather and took some more photos of the night sky as I threatened to do in the last star-themed post.
They didn't come out very well, though. And almost all of them featured that strumpet, Cassiopeia! I put this down to the aforementioned strumpet being a prominent constellation in the sky at this time of year (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway). That they didn't come out well is because of the cold and wind. The cold made me impatient - I was just randomly positioning Camera and taking a photo, and the wind made me a bit wobbly (as did the cold).
Anyway, below are some of my trials and experiments - Remember to click to embigulate:
Above is a star-labelled photo from 3rd January. As you can see, it includes stars from the constellations Perseus, Andromeda, Triangulum, and the Pleiades Cluster from Taurus. I don't really like it as the constellations aren't immediately obvious.
In this one, I've marked out the constellations, but each one is a bit of a mish-mash of linking lines as I was looking at several different sources to work them out. I would have thought the main stars of each constellation would be the same, no matter the source, but apparently not. Also, the linking lines I've used are too bright - they're detracting from the stars themselves.
This photo was taken from Carr Lane on the 15th January. That's not a comet or shooting star, but car headlights and the glow from house windows. I gave up on mapping the constellations as there wasn't a whole one in the photo.
This series is from 16th January. The original photo is on the top left, with a brightened version top right. Below left is an even further brightened version with the constellations marked out next to it. And below those, a different set of constellations with some of their stars noted.
After these somewhat haphazard and rushed "balance Camera on a gate post for thirty seconds" point-and-click shots, and their often disappointing results, I dragged the tripod out from under my chest of drawers (where it had been languishing since I got it nearly two years ago) and resolved to use it at the next opportunity.
That opportunity came on the 19th with another clear evening sky, so I nipped behind the house and gardens of Chateau DeVice to the clifftop and took a series of calculated photos:
|Do not adjust your set. This is how the photos come out - a sea of black with a few faint pin-pricks of light.|
|After a bit of judicious fiddling with contrast and brightness, this is the result.|
|Dark grey star linking lines let the stars shine while demarcating the constellations.|
|And finally, labelling in Microgramma Medium Extended (pale grey for the alpha stars, medium grey for the betas and other stars of note, and dark grey for the constellation names) gives a clean, vaguely futuristic look (to my eyes, anyway).|
The above four images are just a taster of what's to come in my next star-themed post(s). As I was so pleased with how they came out, and how the new labelling looks, I immediately set to planning my next late-night or early-morning jaunt(s). You have been warned!
Strumpets! The lot of them.