April 12, 2011

Half a Century ...

As I sit here editing tonights images, midnight rolls over and we have been a space-faring species for 50 years.  What a thought.  What a stunning, sobering and amazing thought ...

Yuri Gagarin flew only one space mission. On April 12, 1961 he became the first human to orbit Earth. Gagarin's spacecraft, Vostok 1, circled Earth at a speed of 27,400 kilometers per hour. The flight lasted 108 minutes. At the highest point, Gagarin was about 327 kilometers above Earth.

Colonel Yuri Gagarin died on March 27, 1968 when the MiG-15 he was piloting crashed near Moscow. At the time of his death, Yuri Gagarin was in training for a second space mission.

So tonight I went on out to try some tests on stacking, with limited success.  Shooting at 400 ISO, I seem to lose a lot of detail, so much so that a 97-image stack isn't bringing up any of the milky way around Crux (my target for tonight).  However 800 ISO is giving some promising results, still a little noisier than I would like, but a step in the right direction - 13 images.

I found a nice place to shoot however, nice and dark, although the moon was washing out my shots like crazy business, it's looking like I might be back on moon shots for a while now.

So that's it for the 50th anniversary.  I don't really have the right words to express just how cool I think that is, I know that humans are out of space for now, until it gets commercial anyways, but still, as Yuri lifted off 50 years ago, our species took a step towards its maturity, a step away from the cradle of humanity.

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