Thursday, November 4, 2010
Bright objects in the sky, and the digital cameras that capture them
First of all I just want to put up this first picture without too much introduction, I'll just say I took it outside in the wee hours of the morning back in June:
Okay, so what does it look like to you? Is it a picture of an aircraft, a street lamp, or maybe a UFO? Alright, given the amount of information in the photograph, calling the brightly lit object in the frame an Unidentified Flying Object is pretty fair. I don't know how you would be able to identify it from this one picture. Now, to make it more interesting, let's take a look at another picture, taken a few minutes later, with the assistance of a tripod:
Good job astronomy fans, it's a picture of the moon, taken during the partial lunar eclipse on June 26th. I was impressed by how much shaking there was in the picture, taken by my digital camera, of an object that is relatively stationary in the sky. I bring this up not to highlight my poor photography skills, but to illustrate how digital cameras capture images in ways you might not initially expect. I didn't expect my camera to catch such a shaky image of an object that looked stationary in the sky from my vantage point. The idea is that if you think you have caught an orb, a rod or a UFO with your digital camera, the anomaly is more likely to be within the camera and the way it works, than it is to have come from the world at large. Also, you shouldn't underestimate the utility of a decent tripod. Digital cameras are great, you can take a hundred or more pictures and you don't have to get them developed if you don't want to, quite an improvement over using film like we did back in the twentieth century. Just be aware of how your camera captures images in it's different modes before you get too excited about the weird image you caught on one of your photos. As the great Captain Disillusion might say, "Love with your heart, use your head for everything else."