I am so happy that my work load is finally slowing down. The school year for the Regis system in Eau Claire, Wisconsin is coming to an end, we had a successful hiring season at the school and parish, the second parish I have been temporarily overseeing had a new pastor named, and the Sacraments of Initiation were celebrated. In light of this, I took a little time to plan some time for myself, which included planning some astrophotography targets for the summer! Here’s a sneak peak.
As I’ve gotten into astrophotography, I’ve found that there needs to be a healthy balance between dedicated time, planning, keeping your expectations realistic, avoid trying to do too much, and not doing too little. I’m very happy with the approach I’m taking this summer. The targets are ones I’ve enjoyed for difference reasons, but since they are “close” to one another it will give me a chance to learn this part of our galactic neighborhood. The only x-factor, of course, is the weather. Pray for a summer of clear skies!
Come August, I will be testing out a new device that promises ease when imaging celestial objects. The very claim makes me hesitant since my history with things that promise “ease” often become moments of “Why wont this work?” At the same time, if the device works it might allow me to do some livestream “night lab” events for Sacred Space Astronomy readers. I’m not going to promise that until I try it out to see if it works as advertised, but this summer is providing me with fun possibilities to help decompress from my work responsibilities and share my love of the night sky with you.
In preparation for my summer observing, I’ve been following some of my favorite “YouTube Astrophotographers.” Of the many things that are not healthy on social media, aspiring astrophotographers can benefit from following media creators that are doing some amazing astrophotography. Here’s a clip of Trevor Jones, aka “AstroBackyard,” talking about the reality of light pollution – My other adversary for imagining the night sky this summer.
As Trevor mentioned, light pollution doesn’t just impact the night sky, but impacts many aspects of our world. One of the big problems light pollution creates is the disruption of bird migration patterns. It’s fascinating to study how birds will navigate the night during migratory periods. And I find it interesting that the more I learn from other astrophotographers, many of them started out imaging the night sky, but also developed a love for bird photography. I’ve found the same trajectory occur in my pursuit of astrophotography. Why is that?
Next week, I will reflect on why I think astrophotographers often get into bird photography and start to revisit the theme of Care for Creation. It’s been a while since I’ve done some serious reflection on the theme, but its part of my goal to personally have a summer of reflection on Care for and Contemplation of Creation and find new ways to share that with you.
Until then, happy Monday and clear skies!