Facing the Sky, Once Again

Oh, you know what, the night sky is beautiful. At the same time, any person living in this city (or any other metropolitan city in the world, for that matter) will tell you, the night sky is the last exhibition they are going to even think of glancing at.

Centuries ago, everyone used to be astronomers. Everyone used to marvel at these tiny specks of light appear, disappear and reappear every night and day. Then, the better of them began to see patterns emerging. Accordingly, they deduced the “grand design”, and the rest is history.

Then came lights. Everywhere. Then more lights. Then, even more lights. More than what is necessary. Now, we find ourselves under a carpet of pink haze, instead of the speckled sky (there’s even milk there). We rarely ever get to see the Milky Way (unless you live in places like Jasper Island). The light, the symbols in the sky, the planets, galaxies, star clusters, it’s all gone.

They haven’t disappeared. We have chosen to cover them up. And I happen to live in one of the nerve-centres (a.k.a. metropolitan cities) of this unintended ‘propaganda’.

I am fortunate, for some yet mysterious reason, to be in love with astrophotography. Once in a while, some of this inglorious haze gives way, the atmosphere becomes calm, and my camera comes out, pointed at the sky.

That’s what precisely happened yesterday evening. Some excerpts.

My job from last evening. Image Credit: Sagnik Sarkar
TECHNICAL DETAILS
Date: April 18, 2015
Time: 19:19 IST (13:49 UTC)

Camera: Sony NEX-3
Lens: Sony 18-55 mm OSS

Aperture: f/3.5
Exposure: 30"
ISO: 200

Dark Frames: 3, at 30", 20" and 10"
Bias Frames: 3, at 1/6", 1/8", 1/10"

Approximately facing West.

Technicals facts are raw and dry. Nevertheless, if you're interested,
they're here:
http://nova.astrometry.net/user_images/643254#annotated

Suspense is good, right? I respect that, brother. I got 5 photographs, I chose to keep two. The better piece of work is below.

SONY DSC

TECHNICAL DETAILS
Date: April 18, 2015
Time: 19:23 IST (13:53 UTC)

Camera: Sony NEX-3
Lens: Sony 18-55 mm OSS

Aperture: f/3.5
Exposure: 30"
ISO: 200

Dark Frames: 3, at 30", 20" and 10"
Bias Frames: 3, at 1/6", 1/8", 1/10"

Approximately facing West.

I won't mention the technical details. I respect the ones who would
like to go through the same. They're here:
http://nova.astrometry.net/user_images/643281#annotated

You (probably) say, there’s too much light pollution in these photos. I say, that’s how they always will be. That’s how the sky looks from my place.

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