“The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you” – Neil deGrasse Tyson
I thought the quote from Neil deGrasse Tyson was similar to it being under no obligation to make the conditions right when we want to photography the stars either.
The Milky Way core – the yummy fluffy stuff will soon disappear from our skies and not be seen again for a few months. This will lead to a melancholy state in thousands of astrophotographers. I’m sure that I’m not the only thinking “hang on a minute” I wanted to photograph the fluffy Milky Way core over <insert epic rock>. Admittedly I actually planned out the whole year before the year already, but having a plan helps reduce the chances of missing out. Weather conditions will continue to be an issue.
So each year – I prepare a spreadsheet showing me the moon luminosity, moonrise/set times, the Milky Way core start and end times and it’s elevation when it becomes visible. This sort of tool helps me plans out my trips and also the “better” images that may be lit with crescent moon light. It also helps me work out my plans for longer trips as well – the idea I am wanting to follow is to take longer trips, both in distance and duration so that I can be more travel efficient in terms of time and costs.
The chart was assembled based on my location here in Perth, Western Australia so is relevant to that location – but could be adapted to whatever location you’re in. So here are the links for 2021 astrophotography.