|Images of Africa|
|by John Walker|
The night sky in Botswana is awe inspiring. One regret was that the 12 kg luggage restriction imposed by bush planes precluded bringing a telescope to explore the wonders of the southern sky under such ideal conditions. The Olympus 3040 digital camera I used for all of these photos has a f/1.8 lens, CCD sensitivity equivalent to ISO 400 film, and a maximum exposure time of 16 seconds, so I decided to see what I could do with the equipment at hand. I set up the camera on the folding tripod I used for the eclipse photos and took this 16 second time exposure of the Southern Cross, with Alpha and Beta Centauri visible to the left. The sensitivity of the camera was not, regrettably, sufficient to capture the Milky Way, which extended from horizon to horizon in the moonless sky.