Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Near Sky - Daytime Astrophotography

Our bright star, the Sun and a phenomena known as Rayleigh Scatter prevents us from seeing the "night" sky.  The stars are there, something many may not realize, despite our inability to see.  So in a broader sense, astrophotography is not just a nighttime opportunity.   

Our nearby star, the Sun is a brilliant fireball in the daytime sky

 Our ancestors looked at the sky more or less as two-dimensional.  Indeed, many today view it as such until they have their conscience raised by the astounding facts of astronomy and celestial mechanics.  In an artistic sense there is nothing wrong with a two-dimensional sky.  Paintings and photographs render all objects as such.

All the sky is in the eye of the beholder.  The layers of distances (clouds, atmospheric phenomena, planets, stars, galaxies) are stacked upon the view.  Our perspective is simply the results of this stacking.  The depths of distances are integrated to the thickness of a piece of paper.

The atmospheric phenomena, clouds, filter our view of the universe, day and night

These varying phenomena come together on their own.  Our view of the sky, day or night, is an ephemeral happening in constant flux with space and time.  I often spend a day aware of these ethereal happenings.  My tools are my eyes and my cameras.  The obvious tool to participate in this adventure (and it truly is one!) is time.  

Our Sun can be seen visually with the unaided eye (with caution!) through filtering clouds

Whether we are conscience of them or not, all sorts of phenomena are happening.  The sky is the most accessible place to witness this change over time.  There is no need to wait until night to participate.

Perhaps I an overstating the obvious.  Things are always changing.  So what?  Well, maybe it is the influence of Zen on my thoughts and the awareness brought about by meditation.  The obvious seems to be impenetrable to many in our busy world.  

The next time you look up at the sky, remember that the Sun is a star.  It does not "rise" or "set", but the earth turns to make it appear such.  The sky is not two-dimensional, although we routinely see it that way as confirmed by our own eyes.  The Sun is 93 Million Miles away and could hold a million earths!  It has been burning for almost 5 billion years and will be around for about another 5 billion. 

You exist because the Sun shines.

Enjoy your moment under the Sun.