Wednesday, January 05, 2011
Orion floating in the trees on a January night
I took my camera and tripod on a frostbite session in Wingra Park last night, shooting these time exposures (40-50 sec.) of the Orion constellation. The one on the right includes Lake Wingra, but the one above is a bit crisper, and the colors slightly more accurate. Betelgeuse looks like a red giant, and M42, the Orion Nebula, shows a bit of pink. Also, I think I might have accidentally caught a micrometeorite streaking by. Hope so. (See on-screen notes by clicking through the above photo to Flickr.)
One reason I'm so fond of this constellation is that it reminds me of when I first looked at the Orion Nebula through a 3" reflector -- a Christmas present -- on a very cold winter night when I was a kid. Very small and faint, but pure wispy magic in the deep dark vastness of space. When we're very young, we naturally think we're at the center of the universe. As we get a bit older, we look up at the night sky and realize we're not. That's part of what the magic of the moment was about.