An interesting question came up during a recent NANPA webinar on “Chasing & Photographing the Aurora Borealis” presented by Carl Johnson. Why is it that the reflections of stars, moon or sun in bodies of water always seem to have elongated shapes? After all, when doing night photography, with a short enough shutter speed, the moon will be sharp and round; the stars will be tiny, sharp, points of light. So why do they seem to stretch out when reflected in a lake, stream or pond?
If you look at a satellite photo taken at night of the United States, you’ll see a recognizable shape. The coastlines are outlined in light. Major cities are clearly defined. Yet, out in far West Texas, there is a dark area void of major manmade lighting.
This huge dark area is being preserved thanks to a major dark sky preservation movement by local entities.