Though I have so much to post about from my #Room753 bloggers trip to Queensland, Australia what I really, really want to publish now is this star gazing post. You never appreciated a sky fully glittering with stars unless you’ve never seen one before and then suddenly looking up and watching in awe. I looked up at the two lone shyly gleaming stars up in the sky here in Kuwait yesterday and I remembered with a pang what I once saw and currently miss, hence this post being published before the rest.
I was always fascinated by stars and when I was young one of my dreams was to become an astronomer hence why I’ve always wanted to go star gazing and aurora hunting but never knew where to start. Then when I was in Australia I just looked up one night and there it was, the most amazing star-studded sky ever twinkling at me. It was up high in the mountain when I saw the stars, nightfall arrives there at 6 P.M. and once its dark, its pitch blackness swallowing everything around you. If you want to step out, you will see absolutely nothing but darkness around you because there are no street lights and you are surrounded by dense forests. There was no moon, which meant no illumination of any to your path kind unless you happen to walk by a house with a light and that is barely enough to light up your path, and that’s when I looked up!
Yes, the quality of the picture is horrible indeed with a lot of noise in the background. I have never attempted to take pictures of the stars before, mainly because I’ve never seen so many! With a quick search around the internet on the 101 of astrophotography, and considering that I had barely any battery power, or a proper lens, or a tripod and that the woods were pitch black with squeaky animals sounds and creaks and I was standing in the middle of the dark road, unseen, I believe I’m entitled to be proud of my noisy and barely visible pictures <3
Some stars had a white glow to them, other had a blue glue and I swear I saw one that was glowing orange. My husband has this google app on his phone called Google sky or Google Galaxy that when you hold it up it tells you which star is which and guess what did it label the orange glowing star? Mars! Where there was an orange glowing dot in the sky, and quite visible, it simply stated the planet Mars! How mind blowing is that? No pictures of the glowing Mars though but I think I might have photographed the Milky Way in the picture below! It reality it had this distinctive glow around it, like being in a cocoon or a faint white bag or something and it was quite distinctive and no the horrible pictures do not do it justice.
I’ve always wanted to go star gazing and wondered why didn’t we have enough stars in the sky of Kuwait. It turns out the number of stars in the sky are the same everywhere, its only the abundance supply of light on earth is to blame for now allowing us a decent view of other planets, millions of years away, or so we are told. I believe the amount of pollution in the atmosphere of Kuwait plus the elevated hight of the mountain might have contributed as well. Anyway, this is my favourite and by the way, I was barely able to make the outline of the tree with my own bare eyes in the darkness.
Can you believe how many stars are there? I didn’t even attempt to count them, I just took endless pictures until the battery ran out. Then I stayed put, and gazed and gazed until my eyes began to fall and the pizza was getting cold and we had to go home. Yes, we had takeaway pizza in the car. The next morning however I was thinking I might be able to take better pictures if I was more secure and comfortable in the privacy of the balcony in the Chalet we were staying at. So I waited until it was about 8 or 9 P.M. on another moonless night, I went out the balcony and looked up and there you go!
I believe my second attempt was much more successful, though I don’t seem to know how to edit the pictures properly. Anyways in the picture below I believe the shiny orange dot that Google sky stated was Mars does appear in between the opening between the two bushes, in the middle more to the top of the picture a bright orangish dot, can you see it? It looks almost like part of the top branches but its not!
Anyways, the view was just magical <3 I stayed there almost all night long gazing at the stars thinking of nothing but their beauty. I miss those stars and I’m very thankful I got to see such a pretty sight in my lifetime <3
I have to admit that after a bit of star gazing that my mind began to wander and eyes began to lose focus. I had this creepy feeling that if I watch long enough I might find one of the stars moving from its place and that it would turn out to be an alien UFO or something. I knew it was getting too cold and was time to take the camera back inside.
Ooh here is what google sky said about what we were watching! One part of it anyway. I need to start learning a bit about astronomy to fulfil a part of my childhood dream <3
By the way, if you happen to come across a good deal of stars in the sky you can photograph them by using the Manual mode on your camera, with an aperture of 4 or 5, a very slow shutter speed -start at 15 seconds and go up- and have the ISO up to 1600 and the turn the focus into manual mode and have it on infinity. Happy star gazing wherever you are!