Tag Archives: contest

Trivia Contest: Starbursts

Hello dear readers.  I would like to engage you in a little trivia challenge.  If I get good responses I’ll continue with yet more challenges – and prizes!  Share this with your buds (after you’ve taken a crack at it), and yes, there is a prize. Read on…

Trivia Question

This is a multi-part question. Answer both parts in a sentence or two to get in the game.  Good luck.

  1. In Photo 1 below, what caused the starburst effect seen near the top of the lighthouse and the porch light in the lower right?
    NOTE: The starbursts were not added or modified by photo editing.
  2. Without resorting to photo editing is it possible to get a different number of spikes? If so, how?

Photo 1: What caused these starbursts at Pigeon Point Lighthouse, Pescadero, California?


Contest Rules

The winner will receive $50 in cash – provided the following rules are met:

The prize will go to the first entrant who has correctly answered the trivia challenge and also attends the November, 2011 Star Circle Academy workshopIt is not necessary to sign up for or attend a workshop to enter the contest. The order in which the correct and valid entries are received (as determined from the timestamps on the comments) shall determine eligibility for the prize.

The staff of Star Circle Academy shall at its sole discretion determine which of the entrants have correctly answered the trivia challenge. If no entries are received or no correct answers are submitted no prize will be awarded.

How to Enter

To become a contestant, you must provide your answer in the form of a comment here 0r by using the “leave a comment” link at the bottom of this article. Only one entry per contestant is allowed. You must include your complete, correct name with your entry and a valid email address.  Your email address will not be shown or used in any way except to contact you regarding this contest.

The staff and immediate family of Star Circle Academy are not eligible to win though they may enter the contest.

Entries will be kept secret until the contest ends on April 15, 2011 at 11:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time.  Thereafter the first 10 entries judged to be correct will be revealed, along with the answers to the trivia challenge.

Good luck!

People and Space – Astronomy Photographer of the Year, 2010

I’m really excited to let you know that my image: “Photon Worshippers” featuring sunset along the rugged Pacific Coast in Big Sur, California was named winner of the Royal Observatory’s 2010 photo competition in the category People and Space.  For details see the competition’s Winners page. A two man film crew from Buzz Films, Ltd, London flew out to interview me two weeks ago and was tasked with creating a 90 second piece about my work. I thought they did a great job capturing my passion for astro and startrail photography!

This is the winning photo.

Photo of Pfeiffer Portal, Big Sur, California

Photographers gather at the opening of an enormous rock in the Pacific Ocean in Big Sur. The setting sun shines directly through the opening only a few weeks of the year.

The photo and interview will be exhibited in the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, England until February, 2011 along with the video. Admission is free.  Please email me if you visit the exhibit and let me know what you think. I hope to get there later in the year.

The image has already appeared online at

  1. National Geographic (US and Japanese editions online)
  2. the UK’s Guardian,
  3. in a Science Section of the UK Times (only available via subscription).
  4. And BBC News..
  5. New Scientist
  6. British broadsheet: The Independent.
  7. Gizmodo (including the Polish edition)
  8. Web.DE and DieWelt (German)
  9. … and many more blogs and articles throughout the world …

By the way if you’re interested in taking pictures of the night sky, you may want to join Harold Davis and me for our Alabama Hills Star Circle Workshop in November.

One of the reasons I went to this location was also to get a star trail. These are the results of those efforts – the bright slash is the setting crescent moon.

Pfeiffer Portal with Moon Set at Night

Twilight and Moonset Over Pfeiffer Portal