Capturing the Celestial: A Guide to February's Night Sky

Exploring the night sky provides photographers with a unique opportunity to capture the awe-inspiring beauty of celestial events and objects. For those passionate about astrophotography, understanding the dynamics of the night sky, including planetary alignments and deep sky objects, is crucial to planning their shoots and enhancing their portfolio. Here's what you can expect this month. 

Coming to you from Alyn Wallace, this informative video celebrates the 6th anniversary of his series on what to expect in the night sky, specifically focusing on February 2024. Wallace's enthusiasm for astrophotography shines as he guides viewers through the celestial highlights of the month, including the Winter Circle asterism and the visibility of the Milky Way core in the Southern Hemisphere. His detailed explanations of how atmospheric conditions affect celestial photography, and tips for capturing deep sky objects, underscore the importance of timing and technique in astrophotography. This guidance is invaluable for both beginners and seasoned photographers looking to refine their skills and capture stunning images of the night sky.

Wallace also dives into the technical aspects of astrophotography, such as the benefits of using an astro-modified camera to enhance hydrogen Alpha light capture. This focus on equipment and modification tips offers a deeper understanding of how to optimize gear for specific celestial events. Additionally, Wallace’s mention of the zodiacal light and his advice on capturing the Milky Way arch provide practical insights for planning shoots around these phenomena. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Wallace.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Have been following since he started and the travel videos take you to deep dark skies around the world. As for February the date for the milky way is on the 9th today here in the states between 5 and 6 am. Still have 5 days to capture, you can capture 5 days before and after the new moon, before and you get a crescent moon below the MW this way you can skirt around weather. Also this year every month the new moon is at the beginning of the month and next year at the end of the month. PhotoPills will give shutter speed for any camera and lens mm and if around oceans dark sky Planit Pro will give the tide high and low on the bottom day and hour scale in a sine wave making for easier planing! You learn so much from watching is videos and books and gear he invented cameras he reviewed.
Images of the short time frame of an hour (cold) in February.