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Center Rising

Life out on the Orion arm of the Milky Way Galaxy is relativity quiet, our closest neighbor star is over 4 light years away. The night skies are dark with widely scattered distant points of light. Things are different around the Galactic Core. The black hole Sagittarius A* sits at the center of our galaxy and is surrounded by densely packed stars, nearly 90% of the stars of the Milky Way.

On mid-winter mornings in the northern hemisphere you can look to the horizon in the east south east just before dawn and see the faint bright glow of core of the Milky Way. Unfortunately there are some dark interstellar dust clouds that are positioned between us and the galactic center that partially obscure our view. However they give it the distinctive look that we have become familiar with in images.

Saturday morning it began once again for me. Early morning drives to a cold, dark beach. The alarm goes off at 130am and I'm out the door 45 minutes later. It's tough, I've gotten accustomed to sleeping late, snuggled in a warm bed. It wasn't so bad though, only 34 degrees and almost no wind. The thin clouds even held off until just before dawn.

When I stepped out on the beach it just felt right, like I was where I was supposed to be. I got to work setting up my time-lapse camera by the dunes. Then I started walking towards the jetty, it seemed like the best place to start. I wasn't disappointed. Shortly before 5am I was able to capture some images of that first rise.

After a little over an hour of shooting it was too light to see the stars of the Milky Way anymore and I knew it was get some coffee from my thermos and begin the drive home. With any luck I would be able to grab a quick nap before things got too loud at home. I can't wait for the next clear weekend.

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