Not too long ago Timberline Lodge held a stargazing party in their parking lot. We were fortunate to get the opportunity to see stars and other cool celestial objects through some amazing telescopes. There is nothing like peering up at the billions and billions of stars in our Milky Way to awaken a sense of wonder and awe about our place in the universe!
Incidentally, many believe the late great Carl Sagan coined the phrase billions and billions, but in truth, he never said it. He used the word billions a lot, which is probably why Johnny Carson’s parody of Carl is likely the origin of the phrase. If you have never seen this skit it is so worth watching!
But equally entertaining (and far more educational) is watching a young Carl Sagan talk with students about the number of galaxies in the universe. He was such an accomplished orator and had an uncanny ability to translate science into a language that could be understood by the masses. Today, with global warming skeptics, champions and translators of science like Carl are so badly needed in society. In his final interview with Charlie Rose he talks eloquently about the critical role of science helping all of us sort out some of life’s most thorny questions.
And lastly if you’re interested in photographing stars it’s not that complicated. This shot was done on a tripod with a 29 second exposure, ISO set to 1600, and the aperture set wide-open at f/4.5.