July 17, 2009

Erupting Krakatoa

Sometimes in photography, it's not so much who is holding the camera or even the quality of the camera that counts - it's being in the right place at the right time. Such is the case with a recent picture at Astronomy Picture of the Day in which, assuming the camera operator (the "photographer") has the minimal abilities to point the camera in the right direction and use autofocus, it would be hard to get a bad picture. And my point is not to minimize the technical and aesthetic skills of the actual photographer of this shot of Krakatoa, but rather to recognize the beauty and complete awesomeness of it.

This is the APOD explanation:

A volcano on Krakatoa is still erupting. Perhaps most famous for the powerfully explosive eruption in 1883 that killed tens of thousands of people, ash from a violent eruption might also have temporarily altered Earth's climate as long as 1500 years ago. In 1927, eruptions caused smaller Anak Krakatau to rise from the sea, and the emerging volcanic island continues to grow at an average rate of 2 cm per day. The latest eruption of Anak Krakatau started in 2008 April and continues today.

In this picture, Anak Krakatau is seen erupting from Rakata, the main island of the Krakatoai group. High above, stars including the the Big Dipper are clearly apparent.

There are more such photographs at Stromboli online.

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