If you’ve never seen the night sky shimmer and glow like this one does, don’t feel bad: your human eyes simply aren’t good enough. But with technology, skilled astrophotographers are able to pull back the veil and reveal the unseen glory of the cosmos.
The starry sky above was captured by Adam Woodworth late last month at Monument Cove in Acadia National Park, Maine. It’s a blend of twelve different exposures: for the sky, ten exposures of ten seconds each taken at ISO 12800 and stacked using Starry Landscape Stacker, and for the foreground, two fifteen minute exposures at ISO 1600.
The sky’s greenish hue is the result of airglow, the emission of faint green or magenta light by particles in the upper atmosphere when they’re struck by cosmic rays. While this optical phenomena is a bit of a nuisance for astronomers using ground-based telescopes, for the rest of us, it’s an beautiful and exotic sight to behold.
We’ve featured some of Woodworth’s nighttime masterpieces before, but this one is a bit special. It was shot with a pre-production version of Nikon’s D810A, the camera company’s very first DSLR dedicated to long-exposure, deep-sky astrophotography. If Woodworth’s dazzling skyscapes are any indicator, the D810A’s got some serious potential. Of course, with a $3,799 price tag, it’s not for dabblers.