Life Inside an Astronomy Documentary

antarctic sky
My camera settings were wrong and the photo came out blurry, so I ran the photo through a Gimp enhancement setting just for giggles.

Seeing my photographer friends take stunning, National Geographic-like photos of the Milky Way and the auroras is reminding me how little I know about photography. Clarification: I knew nothing about photography when I came here, and now I know a tiny bit about photography.

Still, I have a lot to learn. We went out to the road to the Phoenix runway last night for stargazing and photography. We had the clearest, densest, most stupendous Milky Way I have ever seen in my life. The faint scattering of stars that passes for the Milky Way back in rural parts of the States pales in comparison to how the Milky Way looks down here.

I don’t think I will ever see a more stunning night sky. I look at the vast, cloudy streak of the Milky Way, the shooting stars, and the red and green aurora on the horizon and feel like I’m inside a Nova episode on PBS. Or like Neil deGrasse Tyson is going to walk up to me at any second and start pointing out the planets and star clusters.

It’s almost beautiful enough to bring me back for a second winter in a row. But not quite. Maybe after a year off 🙂


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