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Gibraltar Rock: Sunset, Comet and Zodiacal Light
Camera: Pentax K-5 Photo Location: Gibraltar Rock, Wisconsin 
Posted By: krp, 03-17-2013, 08:37 PM

In between the lousy weather we've been having this past week, there was one beautiful day on the 13th. I had been seeing lots of cool pictures of Comet Panstarrs and I wanted to get some of my own. I decided since I had the day off I would drive up to a place I went last October called Gibraltar Rock in Lodi, Wisconsin. It is a 400 foot bluff with steep cliffs over 2 hours away. It's an amazing place that I think few people know about, I haven't seen anyone else there either time. But since the view faces west, I knew it would be ideal for shooting the comet. I also just bought a K-5 a couple weeks ago, so I was excited to use it for the first time. As many of you know, the K-5 excels in high iso shots of the night sky. I got there in time to shoot the sunset and the soft golden light it cast on the cliffs. About 30 minutes after sunset, the comet became visible. I saw it in 10x50 binoculars, but couldn't make it out naked eye. It was 10 degrees under the crescent moon, making it a little easier to find. After shooting the comet and making a short time lapse of it setting, astronomical twilight ended which means it was completely dark. Except for a faint band of light extending up from the horizon along the ecliptic known as the zodiacal light. This was the first time I've seen it, the sky was just barely dark enough. For more info about the zodiacal light and how to see it, go here: Earth Sky
It was a long day and kind of cold, but worth it.

Time Lapse Video

There are a few more photos from the day on Flickr.
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03-17-2013, 09:12 PM   #2
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Well done. I liked the time-lapse.
03-17-2013, 10:02 PM   #3
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Looks like Gilbraltar Rock is an excellent place to take star trails. The vista is beautiful.
03-18-2013, 05:15 AM   #4
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Most excellent series - well worth the trip. I love your night sky shots.

03-18-2013, 05:22 AM   #5
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Wonderful series...I loved each image very much. What a gorgeous spot. Thank you for sharing.
03-18-2013, 05:33 AM   #6
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03-18-2013, 06:48 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote

03-18-2013, 09:20 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
X3 for sure.

03-18-2013, 07:19 PM   #9
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Wow, I love these shots. I've been anxious to try to get out to shoot the comet, but the weather has not been cooperating. You did well and have some beautiful photos here.
03-18-2013, 09:41 PM   #10
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Original Poster
Thanks for the kinds words everyone. I'm hoping to catch a view of the comet again later this week.

QuoteOriginally posted by jnguyen Quote
Looks like Gilbraltar Rock is an excellent place to take star trails. The vista is beautiful.
Ya, it would have been a great place for star trails. I kind of regret not staying longer for that.

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