Florida Tech’s Student Astronomical Society (SAS) was once again able to attend the Harmony Dark Sky Festival last semester. The festival is an annual event where astronomers set up telescopes and the public can come take a look. There are also vendors set up along the street, many selling food, but also several related to space and astronomy. Presentations on spaceflight and star tours were also held with some consistency, as well as having access to the planetarium. All in all, it is a great place to learn more about astronomy and celebrate the need for skies without light pollution.
At the event, I had the opportunity to attend a presentation given by NASA astronaut Story Musgrave, and he was generous enough to email his slide of photos to anyone who asked. These photos are his personal collection of rocket launches, dark skies, and spaceflight, many of which he took himself. For a little background on him, here’s an excerpt from his biography from his website.
“Story was [a] NASA astronaut for over 30 years and flew on six spaceflights. He performed the first shuttle spacewalk on Challenger’s first flight, was a pilot on an astronomy mission, conducted two classified DOD missions, was the lead spacewalker on the Hubble Telescope repair mission and on his last flight, he operated an electronic chip manufacturing satellite on Columbia.”
Cool, right? Here are some photos from his presentation that not many people besides an astronaut would have had the opportunity to take.
The point of the photo blog was to show people that special lighting is not required to take fantastic photos. Most of these were taken in low-light conditions, a great example of the benefits of dark skies. Pictures like these are also evidence of the benefits of space exploration and what we can do with scientific innovations. None would have been possible without our world’s space program!