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Location of Photo:

Santa Barbara, California

Date/Time of photo:



Images were shot with a D800e DSLR and a 300mm tele at f/2.8 (ISO 25600). Images were exposed for only 2sec in 10sec intervals in order to better control the brightness of the comet relative to the stars.


Long exposures offer a beautiful way to visualize the motion of stars in the night sky. Depending on the length of the exposure, their motion produces beautiful arcs that are centered around the northern celestial pole. All of the arcs appear to be concentric, and do not intersect. The picture presented here is a composite of 94 consecutive individual images (amounting to approximately 17min observation time) and therefore also shows the arcs of the stars. The pictures were shot on 2023-01-26 in the vicinity of constellation Ursa Minor, where comet C/2022-E3 (ZTF) was located. In this image, the comet can be seen as a bright green arc in the center. Interestingly, however, the comet’s arc does not appear to be exactly concentric to the star trails – in fact it appears to intersect them, illustrating the comet’s own direction of motion.