Of stars, planets and sunrises

I've been spending a lot of time at the Elk Island national park lately.  There have been a few things I wanted to photograph at night, and the last pictures of star trails, just sparked my long forgotten appetite for the night sky.  So one of the fine days in August, I set my alarm clock for 2:30am.  I had all my gear packed and ready to go, so with in 5 min I was out the door and heading for the park.  I have to say, it's spooky out there at night.  With no one around, and only coyotes howling away at the moon.  I parked on the western side of Astotin Lake, because there is no glow of Edmonton, and since the sunrise was only in a few hours I though I might as well catch that too :) Setup my star trails camera, and let it do it's magic, while I setup another tripod with a long lens to see if I can catch some sky objects.  I was quite happy when I found Jupiter, and was able to see it's three moons nicely displayed.  Also I tried photographing one of my favorite star cluster, with which I've been fascinated since I was a little kid, namely the M45 or Pleiades, or the Seven Sisters.  Yeah it didn't worked as well as I hoped, but then I did not research astrophotography very well either.  Mea Culpa!

At that point I heard that my star trail gear wasn't clicking away.  The battery died!  So I've decided that I can forget the star trails, and concentrate on something more interesting..... the Milky Way. I don't know how I could have missed it.  It was right above me all this time.  I changed the batteries in my camera, and using a wide angle lens I started taking image after image of the Milky Way, changing camera settings with every image.  This image was at ISO 1600 at f4.5 and exposure of 25s.  Hope you like it.

Soon after the sky in the east began to brighten up, and I was almost ready to start heading home.  I was tired, but happy.  Another successful hunt, and more home work.  Need to research astrophotography.  Enjoy the sunrise!