Equinox Trails

By: Juan Carlos Casado


Region: Europe

Site: Tenerife - Spain

Date: March 2010

The trails of the sun and stars are captured on one image taken from Teide Observatory (IAC) in the Canary Islands. As explained by the photographer "this image was made during the spring equinox of 2010. A full format DSLR with a fisheye lens were placed in a fixed position toward the west. First I made exposures for the Sun every 30 seconds with a solar filter placed on the lens during about 6 hours (the bold rectilinear trail the sun). After sunset, exposures were made continuously (30 seconds each) to capture the motion of stars for about 5 hours. Then all images (almost 16 GB of data) were combined with computer. The distortion of the fisheye lens was also fixed. The resulting image captures the moment the sun passes the celestial equator (the bright trail of the sun also marks the equator). Startrails on each celestial hemisphere (North and South) are curved in the opposite direction. To the right is the North Star, the Polaris. The building on the right is the solar laboratory "Pyramid Van der Raay" (known as Pyramid) which studies the sun's interior by Helioseismology. In the background is the Teide volcano (3710 m) and right on the horizon is La Palma island. Juan Carlos Casado/

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