I grew up in the city and as a kid I enjoyed family camping trips to experience nature. However, we never quite fully escaped the influence of humanity on the night sky. This all changed when my wife and I took our first trip to Texas’s Big Bend National Park 27 years ago. I was astounded by the number of stars that you could see just by looking up and each night I would stay up until I saw at least one shooting star, which would never take very long. I was hooked and exploring West Texas quickly became an annual adventure.
This piece is from the Davis Mountains, not far from McDonald Observatory which is famous for its dark skies. It is composed of 400 images taken over the course of 2 hours. Each photo was exposed for 15 seconds at a wide open aperture to capture the glow of the distant suns.
Some of this light took over a million light-years to reach Earth, starting the journey long before humans populated the Earth. The North Star is just to right of the frame and due West is just off to the left, creating the peaceful concentric circles of light as the Earth rotates at roughly 1,000 miles an hour. I hope that you enjoy this image as much as I enjoyed making it.