Cape Lookout Lighthouse

I am a member of the Crystal Coast Star Gazers .  The Crystal Coast Star Gazers club is working with the National Park office for the  Cape Lookout National Seashore  to designate Cape Lookout as a dark sky site.  I had the opportunity to camp over night at the Cape Lookout National Seashore to view the Milky Way in the morning sky.

So when is the Milky Way core visible?

  • Starting in mid-February, the Milky Way core will rise just before sunrise.
  • In April, the Milky Way will rise at about midnight.
  • By Mid-June, the Milky Way will rise just after sunset.
  • And in July, the Milk Way will have already risen by sunset and visible during the night.
  • By August until October, the Milky Way will still be very visible, but it will set earlier in October.
  • During the winter months,  the Milky Way core isn’t visible in the northern hemisphere.

I was up at 03:30 AM on Sunday morning to get ready to view and photograph the Milky Way core.  It was cold and windy.  The morning temperature was 28, and the wind speed 15 knot with gust over 20 knot.  Unfortunately this is a work in progress.  I am new to astrophotography and I didn’t get the results I was looking for.  That doesn’t mean I am going to stop trying, practice, practice, and more practice.  I made some mistakes using the new lens and camera.  The first, I did not get the focus right, and second I had the camera image set to crop.  The more I practice, then the more I will learn.

The equipment I used: I finally purchased a new used camera, a Nikon D7500.   Because I brought a used camera, I was also able to buy a new Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8-4 lens.  I already have several Nikon lenses, so it didn’t make sense to switch to Canon or another brand.  In my camera bag, I have a Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50mm 1:1.8 G lens, which I also used on this  photo shoot.

Saturday February 29:

Sunday March 1:

2 thoughts on “Cape Lookout Lighthouse

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  1. Nice set of photos. In the first, is that a jet leaving a light trail to the left of the tower?

    I lived in a small town as a kid in the 1950s and seeing the Milky Way, Big/Little Dippers and other objects was no big deal. Living in light pollution I am lucky to see Venus. I miss a jet black sky filled with stars.


    1. David – I think it was jet. I was looking at my phone counting the seconds. I was using a remote shutter release. I am still new to the astrophotography, but there are some dark skies near where I live.


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