Andrew Linn: Astrophotography

August 22, 2020

November 1, 2020

I think it’s a shared human experience to look up at the night sky and wonder about the cosmos. These photographs represent efforts to satisfy my innate curiosity. Astrophotography is a dynamic and exacting art form. Taking long, high-magnification exposures of the night sky that is constantly moving is not a straightforward process.  To create a successful image, clear, dark skies with very little to no moon is the first requirement. Specialized equipment is also necessary including a telescope mount that moves optics and camera at the same speed as the rotation of the earth to pinpoint and follow a specific area in the sky and take an image. Also required is a camera that is optimized for collecting long, low light, a laptop running specialized software, and an unrelenting desire to reveal and bring deep space down to Earth.

These photographs are made, not taken. Gathering sufficient data from an object in deep space to make a good photograph frequently requires multiple imaging sessions over different nights, sometimes weeks or months apart. After capturing the raw data, there is still a fair amount of post-processing necessary to tease the faint details and nebulosity out of the inky black sky. Combining the data from separate files and then editing the resulting image to make incredibly faint objects visible requires dedicated patience.

It has been a steep but rewarding learning curve over 6 years as I have figured out how to use the equipment and software. I’m largely self-taught through YouTube University (with a Ph D in Trial and Error). This collection represents my best efforts along the way. I hope you find these images as interesting and compelling as I do. Enjoy.