The setting waxing crescent moon dipping to the horizon just ahead of the galactic core of the Milky Way last Friday night.

This was pretty much the best night to catch the core until next spring. As the moon grows over the next weeks, it’s brightness will washout the stars.

By the next crescent and new moon, the center of our galaxy will be just skirting the haze of the horizon for a very short time after sunset. Soon after, it will disappear until the pre-dawn hours of mid to late March.

I didn’t know if I would even be able to get these shots. Our beaches have been plagued by red tide. Google it if you aren’t familiar. When I got down to the beach, the smell of dead fish was overwhelming. But I wasn’t at my spot yet, which due to it’s exact location should have been better.

When I arrived about a mile south down the road that runs along the beach, the smell was all but gone. I walked out to the jetty and set up shop. I took 88 consecutive 30-second exposures at 18mm, ISO 1600, and f/3.5.

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I would have shot more for longer star trails but the red tide was getting to me. My eyes were starting to burn. My lips were tingling. I could feel my lungs starting to get inflamed with each breath. Time to go.

This is the result of all the shots stacked and edited.

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This is a little time lapse of all 88 shots.

I’ll be doing some urban photography in and around downtown tomorrow and over the weekend. Time to get back to contrast and weirdness.

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Also, for reading this far, here’s a picture of a precious wee kitten with a bitty foot. We still have the little buggers. I don’t know if the home we found for them is going to work out (it’s just the best fit for these kittens, especially Miss Tiny Foot).