Cactus Star Trails

The primitive Alamo Canyon campground in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is an ideal site for astrophotography during the winter months. Nighttime temperatures are usually above freezing (and can, at times, be as high as 10 C). Even though it is not a high-altitude site (elevation approx. 600 m), the dry desert air provides extremely dark skies. There is a small amount of light pollution from Phoenix along the northern horizon, but not nearly enough to impede astrophotography.


Instrument Minolta XD-5 with 28 mm lens, stopped down to f/6.7
photo flash fired once near the end of the exposure in order to illuminate foreground
Mount fixed tripod
Film Kodak Supra 400
Date 26 Dec. 2000, 10:42 - 12:05 UTC
Site Alamo Campground, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona


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