Gold Butte Fire Lookout Night Panorama (fire astronomy Summer mountains nighttime ). Photo by buddypdx
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Gold Butte Fire Lookout Night Panorama

Uploaded by: buddypdx

Tuesday July 22, 2008

Detroit, OR (Current Weather Conditions)

Caption: A friend and I went to stay a couple of nights up at the Gold Butte fire lookout. Wow, what a beautiful place. The lookout is perched atop a 4,600' peak in the middle of Oregon Cascade Range. During the day, we had fantastic views of Mt Jefferson to the east and Mt Hood to the north.

Here's the rental info page: http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/recreation/rentals/wil-gold-butte-lo.shtml

The photo shows the moon rising through wildfire smoke in the east, the lookout to the south with the (unfortunately, faint) Milky Way rising, and Jupiter shining brightly low in the horizon.

This is a 4 minute exposure, f5.6, ISO 1600 with a 16mm lens on a tracking mount (a mount that rotates at the same rate as Earth - that's why the ground is blurred, but the stars are not). I combined several shots to span from east (left) to west and fiddled with the image levels to try and show the sky. The lookout's blue light is from an LED lamp and the orange light is from the fire in the woodstove. The trees on the right are lit by the moon, which by the time the camera was pointed that way, had risen above the smoke.

Although the moon (and the hazy smoke, and the high clouds...) washed out the Milky Way, it was still amazing and wonderful to see.

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