- Todd Salat Shots


Galaxias, aurora borealis photo from Alaska
Magnify "Galaxias"

The "Galaxias" Experience

Stargazers, this is the view looking north-northwest on January 9, 2010 at 1:23 am from Hatcher Pass, Alaska. Between the spruce goalposts is the skyline of Mts. Foraker, Hunter & Denali 100 miles away and four miles high. The auroras are over 300 miles away and 40 miles high. Many light years above that is a "milky" swath of light made up of billions of stars and planets that are all part of our spiral-shaped home galaxy, the Milky Way. Galaxias literally means milky in Greek. This 30-second exposure reveals more than the human eye can see which lends to a profound sense of scale.

Woodcutters, I had to take down 28 spruce trees to open up this view of Denali from our Hatcher Pass cabin. That warmed me up several times. Once, while cutting and hauling the logs up the hill. Then, splitting them with a hefty wood maul/axe is always a good workout. And finally, after a good year or two of drying time the final warmth comes while burning them in my wood stove during the wintertime. For instance, when I took this shot in January it was 20 below but the cabin was cozy warm.

Photograph Information:

Year: 2010
Aperture: f2.8
Shutter: 30 sec
ISO: 1600
Shot with a Nikon D700 using a Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens.