Milky Way at Harkers Island

One of the Crystal Coast Stargazers dark sky site is at Cape Lookout National Seashore Visitor’s Center on Harkers Island.  It was a nice day for stargazing.  The only problem the wind was out of the northeast, which make it cool.  There was small craft warning for Cape Lookout during the day, which meant the wind were blowing at 20 plus knots. The temperature got down to 52 at night, the wind made it felt much colder.   Sunset at Harkers Island was at 18:28 EST on the 17 October.  The Moon was Waxing Crescent at 1%, the New Moon was the 16th. The Milky Way was visible at 19:52 at an elevation of 15 degree at an azimuth of 217 degree.  The Milky Way set at 21:37 at an azimuth of 234 degree.  You will notice that on the last picture (taken at 20:47), approximately 45 minutes before the Milky Way sets, it isn’t  very visible due to the light pollution from Morehead City.

Sunset at Harkers Island using the D7100:

Milky Way using the D7500:

Equipment Used:

My Nikon D7100 monitor broke back in 2018, and I replaced with the D7500 (I really wish I got the D750 full frame camera instead).  The D7100 still takes good pictures, but for the Milky Way not so much.  You can not verify if the picture is in focus without viewing the photography.  Therefore the sunset, I used my Nikon D7100, and for the Milky Way the Nikon D7500.

Nikon D7500 and Nikon D7100

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm | 1.8 G

 Nikon DX AF-S NIkkor 55-300mm



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