Circumpolar and Equatorial Star Trails

Here are some shots of circumpolar star trails as seen from my backyard in Oakdale CT. The film was Kodak PMZ-1000, the camera was a Canon FT with a Canon 28mm F2.8 lens. These are some of the easiest astrophotos that one can take. Set up the camera on a tripod, aim it north (or anywhere but north gives the best effect), set the lens to about F5.6, set ISO to around 400, focus at infinity and do a time exposure. The longer the exposure the more the stars will streak as the Earth rotates.

Above is a shot looking due north. Based on my notes this was taken 18 November 1998, about an 8 hour exposure (lens was at F5.6). The small bright arc near the center is the north star (Polaris). The straight lines visible in this image are from airplanes. The trees are lit due to ambient light in the neighborhood (street lights, security lights, etc).

This shot is looking more northeast. The group of bright stars just above the tree are in the constellation Cassiopeia.

Another shot looking due north. In this shot the stars of the Little Dipper are off to the left of Polaris (at center). Looks to be about a 2 hour exposure.

This shot is looking east. The red-orange streak is the star Aldebaran; above that the tight group of streak is the Pleiades star cluster! .

Another shot looking east. Unfortunately my notes from 1998 are not the best so I am not sure of exactly what field this is (looks to be Canis Minor maybe). The dots going across the field are from an airplane strobe.

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