31 Oct 2017

Sandcut Beach

One of the best Milky Way nights I've ever had...

Sandcut Beach

Sandcut beach, Vancouver Island, was amazing for stargazing one day last summer. During the day, a crisp view of Mount Baker in Washington was telling of the steady and clear atmospheric conditions. These are ideal for astronomy. That, and a new moon, of course! While this photo was being taken, I couldn’t tell why the ocean looked so bright. Was it from my headlamp? No. Was it from the moon? It was a new moon! It finally occurred to me that the ocean was emitting its own light. With encompassing excitement, we agitated the water with rocks to see momentary flashes on its surface. As the growing tide began to threaten our camera gear, we had to hike back to the car. I want to return on a similar night to try and capture the bio-luminescence in the same frame as the galaxy. Although it seemed bright to our eyes, it was still much fainter and more fleeting than light from the Milky Way.