Astrophotography: Past and Present

Astrophotography is a hobby for many professional and amateur astronomers. Some photographers may enjoy doing time-lapse photography which depicts stars moving across the sky in a star trail while others like taking photographs of objects in deep space. This case has works from the late 19th and early 20th century E.E. Barnard, and modern photographs taken by Mark ‘Indy’ Kochte.

[Star Trail]

[Star Trail] by E.E. Barnard
Lantern slide, circa late 19th century
Edward Emerson Barnard Papers,
Vanderbilt University Special Collections

A star trail photograph taken by E.E. Barnard. This photograph shows star trails near a pole. Star trails are created when a time lapse photo is taken while stars move through the night.

[Spiral Nebula]

[Spiral Nebula] by E.E. Barnard
Lantern slide, 1899
Edward Emerson Barnard Papers,
Vanderbilt University Special Collections

Photograph taken by E.E. Barnard on August 11, 1899 of the HI53 Pegasi spiral galaxy. Barnard called it a spiral nebula because before the 1920s, it was thought that these nebula were part of the Milky Way and not a separate galaxy. This photo was taken with the Crossley Reflector of the Lick Observatory.

Milky Way from Gannett Peak

"Milky Way from Gannett Peak" by Mark 'Indy' Kochte
Photograph, reproduction, circa 2016-2017
Private Collection

This photograph is of the Milky Way. It was taken in the Wind River Range of Wyoming. Gannett Peak, the highest mountain in the state, is in the foreground. The glaciers in the photo are illuminated by starlight only.

Rocky Mountain National Park Star Trail

"Rocky Mountain National Park Star Trail" by Mark 'Indy' Kochte
Photograph, reproduction, circa 2016-2017
Private Collection

This is a 2 hour time lapse photograph taken in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. A star trail is formed as the star moves across the sky while the photograph is being taken.

Vedauwoo Star Trail

"Vedauwoo Star Trail" by Mark 'Indy' Kochte
Photograph, reproduction, circa 2016-2017
Private Collection

This is a 2 hour time lapse photograph taken in Vedauwoo, Wyoming. A star trail is formed as the star moves across the sky while the photograph is being taken.

[Andromeda Galaxy]

[Andromeda Galaxy] by E.E. Barnard
Photograph, circa late 19th century
Edward Emerson Barnard Papers,
Vanderbilt University Special Collections

This photograph was taken by Barnard's friend, Ritebug, using a 68-inch reflector on October 13, 1909. It was labeled as the great nebula in Andromeda. It wasn't until the 1920s that this was deemed an object outside of the Milky Way Galaxy. It is now known as the Andromeda Galaxy.

[Solar Prominence]

[Solar Prominence] by E.E. Barnard
Photograph, circa late 19th century
Edward Emerson Barnard Papers,
Vanderbilt University Special Collections

This photograph shows a solar prominence. A solar prominence is when plasma makes an arc from the surface of the sun along magnetic field lines.

[The Sun]

[The Sun] by E.E. Barnard
Photograph, 1917
Edward Emerson Barnard Papers,
Vanderbilt University Special Collections

This is a photograph of the Sun taken by E.E. Barnard on February 9, 1917 using the 12-inch telescope at Yerkes Observatory. This photograph shows the Sun's photosphere. The dark spots are called sun spots.

[Beljawsky's Comet] [Beljawsky's Comet]

[Beljawsky's Comet] by E.E. Barnard
Lantern slide, 1911
Edward Emerson Barnard Papers,
Vanderbilt University Special Collections

This is a photograph of the Beljawsky's Comet taken by E.E. Barnard on October 17, 1911. Since the comet has a tail in the photo, this means that the comet was close in its approach to the Sun in this photograph. This photograph was taken using the 10inch Bruce Telescope at Yerkes Observatory.

[Star Cluster]

[Star Cluster] by E.E. Barnard
Lantern slide, late 19th century
Edward Emerson Barnard Papers,
Vanderbilt University Special Collections

Photograph taken of the Pleiades constellation by E.E. Barnard. The Pleiades is sometimes referred to as the Seven Sisters. In Japanese, it is called Subaru which is where the name and logo for the car come from.

[Andromeda Galaxy (Nebula)]

[Andromeda Galaxy (Nebula)] by E.E. Barnard
Lantern slide, 1914
Edward Emerson Barnard Papers,
Vanderbilt University Special Collections

Photograph taken by E.E. Barnard on November 10, 1914 of a the Andromeda Galaxy. Barnard called it a spiral nebula because before the 1920s, it was thought that these nebula were part of the Milky Way and not a separate galaxy. This photograph was taken with the Bruce Telescope at Yerkes Observatory.

Curator's Comments
Natasha McMann talks about the material she selected for this exhibition and the curatorial process.

Astrophotography: Past and Present