West Virginia photographer Dave Green created the amazing astrophotography image seen above, which shows the constellations of Barnard’s Loop, the Horsehead, Lambda Orionis, and more above the GBT.
Green took the photo from the Observation deck located in the Janksy Lab parking lot. This is a safe and publicly accessible space for photography, which will not cause interference to observations.
Says Green, quoted from Channel 59 News, “I set up a mile away in the observatory parking lot on a cold -5° night to capture the Orion Constellation set on the giant satellite. In the sky you can see Barnard’s Loop, the Horsehead, Orion, Lambda Orionis, and more. The sky was imaged with a modified Canon t3i on a small sky tracker at 50mm. “Modified” sounds more technical than it is. I took the camera apart and broke pieces out! The filters that come stock in a digital camera that prevent issues like red eyes also prevent the camera from recording the red hydrogen alpha in the night sky. The red structures are nebulous regions of our Milky Way where stars are forming. I would consider this as my first “deepscape” image (deep space object in a landscape). I planned for it a couple months. I used Google Earth, PhotoPills, Stellarium, and Telescopius to prepare. I wasn’t exactly sure how close my calculations were, but the time-lapse I recently posted shows Orion setting over the dish. Orion landed exactly where and when I expected. Very “cool” night!”
This image was featured as NASA’s February 23rd Astronomy Photo of the Day, or APOD, as it is known to regular followers.