2017 Canadian Rockies Expedition: A Night of Astrophotography

July 30, 2017  •  Leave a Comment


I decided to forego lodging and tenting the night of July 28 to do astrophotography while transitioning from Kananaskis Country to Jasper town in Jasper National Park.   The main reason was that the moon was in the waxing crescent phase, which means that with each successive day for the next 10 or so days, the moon will be getting brighter and will last longer in the night-time sky.  Since I prefer no moon (aka "new moon"), it was time.


I was concerned about the smoke (from wildfires elsewhere in British Columbia) in Banff and Jasper national parks: would it impact my astrophotography?  The answer was "not really" because although the smoke was and is thick enough to create a very strong haze during the day, it was not thick enough to scatter light that noticeably at night.


I stayed up most of the night.  Although sunset was at 9:45 pm and sunrise was at 6:10 am, it did not really get "dark" until about 11 pm, and I noticed light in the sky (which made the Milky Way much less distinct) as early as 4 am.   By 4 am, even with two extra large coffees, I was knackere,d and so pulled into a nearby campground to take a nap.


It was a truly beautiful night.  The Milky Way was very distinct to the "naked eye".  I shot the Bow Glacier, Peyto Lake, Athabasca Glacier, and other points of interest between Bow Lake and the Athabasca Glacier area.  I processed a few photos.  The best compositions will be panoramas that require stitching...I probably won't process those until 2018 or later.





The last one is the Athabasca Glacier located at near the boundary of Banff and Jasper National Parks.


Hope you like them






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