St Agnes Night Skies Feature On Astronomy Magazine Cover

graham gaunt night sky agnes
 
A stunning video of the night sky over St Agnes is being featured in a special edition of the BBC’s Sky at Night magazine.

The sweeping images of the stars and the Milky Way, contained on a free DVD on the cover the September edition, only last around four and a half minutes.

But it took photographer Graham Gaunt eight nights, working from dusk to dawn, to create the film.

Graham uses a time-lapse technique, where a sensitive camera captures images of the night sky for around 30 seconds at a time. He takes hundreds of these photos then stitches them together to make a movie.

It takes hours just to produce a few seconds of film, which Graham says can be a long a tedious process, although he says sitting watching the stars in the darkness can also be a fantastic experience.

The camera will catch very faint objects that can’t be seen with the naked eye, but it’s so sensitive to light that even someone walking by with a torch will ruin the shot.

And he had to hope for good weather, because once he starts the shot, clouds or rain could make the footage unusable.

Graham says St Agnes is an ideal spot for this type of work because of the lack of light pollution. But even here he had to be careful.

If he pointed the camera towards St Mary’s he said he just ended up with an ‘orange glow’ because of the amount of stray light from our largest island.

He’s uploaded many of his images and videos to the Vimeo website and that was where Sky at Night magazine saw his work.

He also won the Director’s Choice award at last year’s Cornwall Film Festival for a similar piece shot in Penwith.

You can see Graham’s work on his Vimeo page here.

 

Dark Nights II from Graham Gaunt on Vimeo.