Image Credit: Ben Coffman Photography

Ben, at Ben Coffman Photography, went out to Crater Lake over the Lyrid meteor shower last year.

Crater Lake can be found in Klamath County in Oregon. The lake was created when a volcano erupted with such ferocity that it blew itself to pieces. The elegant arc of the Milky Way’s dust lane is crowning the wintery landscape. The best Lyrid meteor Ben captured is located near the center of the dust lane to the right of center in the image. In addition, a few smaller ones can be seen on the left hand side of the screen.

Recently, a fan asked how astrophotographers are able to capture so many stars in their images. The answer lies with how cameras function in contrast to the human eye. As a photon hits your retina, it’s processed, and that specific photon isn’t really ‘remembered’ – kind of like taking a short exposure photograph. This picture of Ben’s uses a longer exposure (I’m guessing about a 30-second exposure). The camera records and saves the data collected from each photon over the time of the exposure, allowing dim objects to appear brighter in the final image. This is very useful for studying the cosmos in magnificent detail.

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