I've been wanting to attempt getting some good pictures of the stars, and on the radio one morning they said that it was the perfect time for getting to view the Milky Way, thanks to the late rising of the moon. On Wednesday night last week, I set out with my friend John to Pinnacle Mountain. While the conditions were good for looking at the stars (clear skies), it was awfully humid and hot out. Walking to my car that night felt like I was instead swimming through the humid air.
Pinnacle Mountain is located just outside of the city of Little Rock, so there is quite a bit of light pollution out there. But I was surprised at the number of stars we could see.
My original plan was to go to the Educational Pond at Pinnacle Mountain, which I thought would provide a view of the mountain and the small pond at its base. But a sign at the gate to the pond said that the park closes an hour after sunset. Not feeling all that rebellious, we tried to find a different spot.
We ended up just heading down the road to the old Highway 300 bridge. This old bridge sits right on the edge of the park, and there weren't any signs saying that it was closed for the night. Keeping an eye out for snakes and hoping that the flashlight batteries would survive the night, we walked the short distance to the old bridge.
I have only tried to do astropohtography a few times, with some pretty poor results. I'm not too happy with how these turned out, either. I think I ended up getting more camera noise in the shot than I did stars. But this is the view of the stars looking up through the bridge.
I don't think I had the camera set on the right settings for this kind of stuff. I'm going to have to try again some other time, maybe a place a bit further away from the city.
The Big Dipper: