The stars are truly like dust; reminded of the book titled “The Stars, Like Dust”, written by Isaac Asimov (showing also a cross section of the Southern Cross, to demonstrate the clarity of the stars).
The vastness of the night sky, with the stars behind the stars visible, and those stars behind them and those behind them can also be clearly seen. Captured here in the breadth of the sky, from horizon to horizon, the full Milky Way is presented in grandeur before us. As viewed from the Southern Hemisphere; the Southern Cross is set in the gentle curvature of the Milky Way. Billions upon billions of stars laid as dust in the night sky, with three shooting stars visible and the brightest one pointing directly to the Southern Cross itself.
I recently discovered that Saturn has also been captured in this frame. I had wondered for a while how a yellow ‘star’ could be bigger and more prominent than the Pointers and the Southern Cross, and speaking with a friend he said that yellow stars can be often planets. Researching the time and date of the photograph, yes, there it is; Saturn was there. If you look just above the Southern Cross and a little to the left of the shooting star you will see a bright and large star … there you go, that is Saturn.
I had originally planned to have the Southern Cross placed in the mid-section of the photograph, held in composition by the glory of the Milky Way itself. But by the time that I was able to get to a place to shoot this grand vista, it was getting a bit late in the season. If you think of the star movements to that of a clock, as there are twelve months in the year the Southern Cross’ position moves as like an hour hand. In May at 9pm it is at the 12 o’clock mark, however, in June it moves to the 1 o’clock mark, and so on.
I had planned this shot for over a year, and after a series of testing purchased specialised equipment for it. My first attempt was in May, and then June, this particular frame was captured late July. In the end things didn’t go completely to plan for Southern Cross was positioned disappointingly too far to the right. But you know, sometimes its nice to have Heaven composing itself on my behalf. The narrative presented in this piece is beyond what I could have hoped for: the Southern Cross is beautifully composed to the right of the frame, with a cloud of stars composed beautifully on the left.
The grandness of the Milky Way that has been captured here, is beyond my own imagination; I could say that I was ‘helped’. Here you have the Southern Cross balanced perfectly on one side of the frame with the centre of our galaxy glowing perfectly on the other. It turns out that this ‘cloud’ of stars is the nucleus of our galaxy, it is what is called the ‘Galactic Bar’. Here we have shooting stars, Saturn, Carinae Nebula (to the low/right of the Southern Cross), and layer upon layer upon layer of colourful sparkling stars. I have included a cross section close up from around the Southern Cross, if you zoom in on the right you can truly see the stars behind the stars, behind the stars, and behind them as well.
The resolution of the photograph was purposed to be grainless at the 200cm size. This has been achieved. The image is totally devoid of any dots except that of the stars. It is a grand image, especially as how the camera has represented the Milky Way in an amber tone.
The Aboriginal people of Australia have seen in the Milky Way, for millennia, the shape of an Emu lying down. If you look in the shadow area just below and to the left of the Southern Cross, the ‘Coal Sack’, here you can make out the head and beak, the neck and the body. A good reference of this is found in the website: “Australian Indigenous Astronomy“
location: North QLD, Limited Edition: 360
Available as Limited Edition photographic prints, sizes from 100 x 32cm (6 x 20 inch) to 300 x 96cm (38 x 120 inch). Printed on the finest grade photographic paper, signed and numbered. Acrylic ‘Face-Mount’ framing is also available.
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