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Nighttime sky in Colorado’s high country with the Milky Way, Mars and satellites

Last winter I bought myself a second camera body (#Canon 6D Mark II) and a fast, wide angle lens (EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM). Landscapes and stars were my biggest reason for selecting this gear and while I have indeed used it on daytime subjects, I had yet to use it on the night sky – until last week.

It wasn’t ideal but there was a brief window of a couple of hours between sunset and moonrise and I gave it a shot. I came away with some captures that I am pretty pleased with, including this one. You can see the center of our galaxy and, that bright, red light to the bottom left is Mars, at the time its closest to Earth in years. The trails of two satellites are also seen. The glow on the horizon is light from Granby and Winter Park.

Ideally this would have been taken later at night / earlier in the morning during a new moon and in a bit more remote location, something I am going to be trying to do in the coming weeks. But, given the situation, I think this came out pretty good. I did goof and forget to take off my polarizer filter which meant a higher ISO than what would have been needed otherwise and haze from wildfires in California had an impact as well.

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