Orion's Stars Shine Over Stargazers on Wintry Shore in Amazing Photos

Orion Shines Over Stargazers at Wallis Sands State Park
This image shows Garrett Evans of A G Evans Photography, Chris Georgia of Christopher M Georgia Photography, and Aaron Priest photographing the night sky over Wallis Sands State Park in Rye, N.H. on Dec. 28, 2013. (Image credit: Aaron Priest | www.aaronpriestphoto.com )

When night sky photography friends get together, you’ll likely find them looking up in places like the shores of Wallis Sands State Park in Rye, N.H.

Aaron Priest of Maine recently sent Space.com some spectacular photos taken during one such winter gathering.

The constellation Orion, the Hunter, can be spotted passing overhead in both shots. One of the most recognizable constellations in the sky, Orion includes several prominent stars including Betelgeuse, Rigel and Bellatrix. Seven of its brightest stars form an hourglass shape in the sky. [Amazing Night Sky Photos by Stargazers for February]

"I enhanced the stars of Orion a little bit to make the constellation easier to see in the sky," Priest wrote Space.com in an email.

Night sky photographer Jon Secord is seen photographing the breakwater and night sky on the beach of Wallis Sands State Park in Rye, N.H. on Dec. 28, 2013 as constellation Orion passed overhead. This image was captured by Aaron Priest of Maine. (Image credit: Aaron Priest www.aaronpriestphoto.com )

Priest captured these images using a Nikon D700 camera, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens, and a Promote Control @ 14mm, f/2.8, ISO 6400, and four exposures of 8, 15, 30, and 60 seconds, manually blended via masks and layers in Photoshop.

To see more amazing night sky photos submitted by Space.com readers, visit our astrophotography archive.

Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at spacephotos@space.com.

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Contributing Writer and Producer

Nina Sen is a freelance writer and producer who covered night sky photography and astronomy for Space.com. She began writing and producing content for Space.com in 2011 with a focus on story and image production, as well as amazing space photos captured by NASA telescopes and other missions. Her work also includes coverage of amazing images by astrophotographers that showcase the night sky's beauty.