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Astrophotography | Los Angeles, Pasadena, Glendale Child Portrait Photographer Guest Post

Evan and I have found that the best way to meld our interests—astronomy and photography—is through astrophotography.  Today I’m presenting the first guest post by my resident astronomer, the other half of Bamboo Shoots Photography.  Evan annotates our recent photos of the beautiful night sky with some astronomy facts.  We love stargazing when we can, but as you might imagine, it’s hard to do that in Los Angeles.  Can you believe how many stars you can see when there are no city lights impeding your view?

The first photo shows the eastern sky from the Angeles National Forest about three and a half hours after sunset.  You might notice that some stars are red and some are blue.  Although you might think that red stars are red hot, the blue stars are actually hotter than the red stars.

Los Angeles, Pasadena, Glendale child & baby portrait photographer astrophotography, astronomy, stars, night sky

In the second photo, you’re looking directly into our Galaxy.  The milky streams are actually billions of distant stars.  There are too many stars to see them individually.  Instead, they form clouds of light.  The Greeks thought these looked like rivers of milk, hence the name of our Galaxy, the Milky Way.  The dark patches are “dust” clouds in front of the rivers of stars.  Some of the dust is made of the same molecules found in car exhaust, so you can think of those clouds as interstellar pollution.  In fact, they are the exhaust of stars that exploded long ago.

Los Angeles, Pasadena, Glendale child & baby portrait photographer astrophotography, Milky Way galaxy, astronomy

This last photo shows the heavens juxtaposed with a more terrestrial object: a tree.  Above the tree, you might recognize the Pleiades, a cluster of bright stars.  Typically, the Pleiades are described as “the Seven Sisters,” but some people see more than seven stars, some fewer.  It depends on how dark the sky is and how good your eyes are.  If you look closely at this photo, you can probably count a lot more than seven stars in the Pleiades.  The seven or so brightest stars are the biggest ones, but there are many more smaller, fainter stars.  The Pleiades is a stellar nursery, where stars are born.  Our own Sun was probably born in a cluster like the Pleiades.

Los Angeles, Pasadena, Glendale child & baby portrait photographer astrophotography, Pleiades star cluster, stellar nursery, night sky, astronomy

We had tons of fun taking these photos.  Hope you enjoy them too!

Astrophotography at Palomar Observatory | Pasadena, Glendale, Los Angeles Baby Portrait Photographer Guest Post » Los Angeles Children's Photography: BAMBOO SHOOTS PHOTOGRAPHY - […] Today I’m presenting the second guest post by my resident astronomer, Evan, the other half of Bamboo Shoots Photography.  If you missed our first Los Angeles astrophotography post, check it out here! […]April 13, 2011 – 3:44 am

Kim - I’m a big star-gazer myself and these photos are stellar (haha). The combination of Truc’s talented photography and Evan’s scientific explanation is perfect! You should post more sets like this one.December 25, 2010 – 5:09 pm

Peggy - Great photos and star facts. I just watched a PBS special on fractal geometry and these photos seem to be great representations of its basic theory. Both the mountains and the tree seem to be reflected in the star patterns – who knew math could be so beautiful!December 15, 2010 – 4:14 pm

Marci - How beautiful!!! I tried to take photos of the night sky on a trip to Africa. The sky was so clear and the stars looked like one could reach up and touch them…they looked so close and vivid. Your photos remind me of those stars in that clear, awesome sky. My photos didn’t do it justice though. Your photos certainly DO capture all of it vividly! Beautiful!December 15, 2010 – 3:04 pm

Larry - Those are spectacular photos, and excellent narrative. Thanks for sharing.December 15, 2010 – 2:34 pm

Truc - Thanks, May and Chi! May, we spent about half an hour total, trying various camera settings and different parts of the sky. We were up in the mountains, so it was freezing cold! But totally worth it.December 15, 2010 – 1:22 pm

May - Wonderful photos, with very professional explanations. What a combination! How long did it take you to take these photos?December 15, 2010 – 10:04 am

Chi - Wow, these photos are sooo cool. I’ve definitely tried taking photos of stars only to get totally black shots and/or little white streaks everywhere. The first photo is my favorite!December 15, 2010 – 8:33 am

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