AstroPhoto #2: Low Elevation

Low Elevation (© Ian O'Neill)

In 2002, I spent five months on the Arctic island of Spitsbergen, in the Svalbard archipelago, studying the aurora and upper polar atmosphere. It was one of those life-changing experiences I will never forget. One day, during 24 hour daylight in Arctic spring, I found some time to have a walk across a plateau near the town of Longyearbyen, to collect my thoughts. Till that point, I didn’t realise just how flat and desolate Plateau Berget was. Fortunately, the weather was clear and the Sun was shining, so I explored across several kilometres of ice and snow, seeing mountains in the far distance (reminded me of the Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back Hoth battle scene). Eventually I stumbled across the SvalSat installation where I took several pictures of the satellite dishes. This is one small dish, at low elevation, watching for one of the few polar orbiting communications satellites. Such wonderful memories…

Camera: Yashica manual SLR (with a frozen timer!)
Other: Post processing with Photoshop 7

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