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The Plough Stars Constellation #1

Stars of the Plough constellation in the night sky

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The story behind this image

It's coming up for a quarter to nine on a clear, cool autumnal night near my home in North Wales and the last of the twilight glow has just disappeared from the western skies.

I'm standing gazing upwards from the slopes of Moel Famau, the highest peak in the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), taking in the wonder of the night skies as stars wheel by over my head.

Although the Clwydian Range doesn't have 'Dark Sky' status, it's still possible to see the milky way from Moel Famau so long as the skies are clear of dust and moisture, otherwise the orange glow from the surrounding towns tends to swamp the fainter stars.

But not tonight, as I'm treated to a stunning display in the clear night air.

Looking to the north I can find the pole star Polaris inbetween the constellations of the Plough and Cassiopeia, the stars of which are shining brightly in the firmament above.

Time then for a photograph, and on this occasion I decided to concentrate on the Plough itself, rather than take in a wider expanse of sky.

What a treat, and no doubt I'll be back here stargazing sometime very soon.

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Image data

Filename - plough stars constellation 01

Lens - 24-105mm zoom @ 58mm

Exposure - 15 secs @ f5.6, ISO3200

Filters - None.

Location - Clwydian Range, North Wales

Image enhancements - Adobe Lightroom

Comments - Tripod, remote release and mirror lockup used to prevent camera movement.