The Cape Cod National Seashore might be best known for its summer crowds, quaint and charming New England architecture, great seafood, and classic lighthouses. However, as spring approaches, night sky photographers know Cape Cod for another of its wonderful attributes - dark skies with very limited light pollution.
Because of its location and surrounding moisture sources, getting perfectly clear nights on Cape Cod at any time of year can be a challenge. However, forecasted clear skies on a Saturday night in mid-March sent this photographer and a friend scrambling from our central Connecticut homes, leaving at 11:00 p.m. and arriving at the Marconi Wireless Station in South Wellfleet at 2:30 a.m. after a 220 mile journey. Why? The opportunity to capture a Milky Way panorama! In March, the core of the Milky Way becomes visible above the horizon for the first time for the season, which generally runs until September. Rising low over the horizon and late in the night, or more correctly stated, early in the morning, the arch of the Milky Way stretches from the Southeast to the North in a beautiful display of light that has traveled for 25,000 or more light years to reach Earth.
Braving sub-freezing temperatures and a firm ocean breeze, my frozen fingers were able to manipulate my camera controls to capture my first ever Milky Way panorama, a 36-image (9 positions x 4 images, stacked) 180-degree display of one of the greatest sights to see on Cape Cod. The core will rise earlier in the night and higher above the horizon as the season progresses, making panorama shots much more challenging, but instead combining with the various beautiful foreground elements available on The Cape to provide some of the best night photography opportunities on the East Coast.
Did you know that now we offer a VIP membership? Create your Personal Portfolio Page and let us share it monthly to over 300,000 members and followers.
Benefits of VIP membership:
• Your Personal Portfolio Page – click here to see sample
• We promote your portfolio monthly to over 300,000 followers
• Download 12 new issues of the magazine every year
• Download ALL back issues
• Download premium eBooks worth £19.45.
• Upload and share up to 70 images per year via our monthly assignments and picture submission forms
• Your uploaded pictures/posts stay attached to your Personal Portfolio Page for as long as you are a VIP member, which could be for ever
• Fast Support – we aim to reply within 12 hours
• Submission Priority – your submission goes to the front of the queue
Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor