Night On the Homestead
In January I went out to capture one of my favorite photogenic trees late at night. It sits by itself in a field near a small abandoned house. Cassiopeia, one of the most recognizable constellations, is like a celestial clock. In 23 hours and 56 minutes it will make one rotation around the North Star. But unlike a clock, it spins counterclockwise. When closest to the horizon the 5 brightest stars make the shape of a W, but when it's highest overhead it looks like an M. From anywhere above 35°N, Cassiopeia is circumpolar. That means the constellation neither rises nor sets, always staying above the horizon. In order to get a sharper picture I shot a 12-minute exposure of the foreground, and the tree branches didn't even move an inch. Windless nights are quite rare during winter in Wyoming.