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The night sky in 37,440 exposures

Nick Risinger in Seattle with the rack of six synchronized astrophotography cameras he used to create the photograph on the wall behind him, which shows the entire night sky in a single composite image, made up of more than 37,000 exposures.
Ted S. Warren
/
AP
Nick Risinger in Seattle with the rack of six synchronized astrophotography cameras he used to create the photograph on the wall behind him, which shows the entire night sky in a single composite image, made up of more than 37,000 exposures.

Nick Risinger has always gazed up at the sky. But last year the amateur astronomer and photographer quit his day job as a Seattle marketing director and lugged six synchronized cameras about 60,000 miles to capture an image of the entire night sky.

Risinger, 28, set up his rack of cameras in high-elevation locales in the Western U.S. and South Africa, timing photo shoots around new moons. He programmed his six cameras to track the stars as they moved across the sky.

He then stitched 37,440 exposures together into a spectacular, panoramic sky survey he posted online two weeks ago.

Other sky surveys have preceded this one, of course. But "what a labor of love it is," said Andrew Fraknoi, senior educator at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

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