NASA chose a picture Mike Rosinski of Hartland took of his yard for its Aug. 5 Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD), where an astronomer writes a detailed explanation of the photo.
Rosinski, who works for Nissan as a manager engineer, has a passion for astrophotography. Here's is a series of Patch questions and his answers about his achievement:
PATCH: Is there a prize associated with being selected?
ROSINSKI: No, just your "15 minutes of fame" with fellow astrophotographers. Would be nice if I could win some contest and get a few $$'s to offset my gear, but I'm into this as a hobby/enthusiast.
PATCH: Have you been selected before?
ROSINSKI: My first time selected at the APOD site. Many, many people submit photos there, thousands.
PATCH: If so, when? How often have you tried?
ROSINSKI: I've submitted three to four photos photos prior. The shots there are fabulous, star clusters, galaxies, nebulas, etc. People with BIG telescopes and lots of experience. My shots I try to capture the heavens-above in a different viewpoint.
PATCH: Why do you do this?
ROSINSKI: Simply, I'm fascinated with space, the heavens above, man's role in the universe, and all that. The wonder when looking above never gets old. Sometimes I set-up my gear and a cloud bank will come over, and I get frustrates, then as the clouds part the moon may light them, a star field is visible and all of a sudden a terrific shot shows itself.
PATCH: What's so special about APOD?
ROSINSKI: It's NASA! They pick/choose what to show, experts who live/breath space. Prior to them posting my image they informed me it was chosen.
I sent them this response … "I'm sure you've heard this before, but please pass this on: You guys/gals at NASA inspire all of us in the public with your continued excellence in all space endeavors. Never, never, never underestimate the positive impact on so many lives, including my three young children (9, 7, 5). We all need to continually dream, and NASA fuels that for so many of us."
PATCH: Who have you heard from since being picked?
ROSINSKI: I post on two astronomy forums, and my thread(s) there have gotten kudos from many. My email box has gotten (so far, 8:30 a.m.) 20-plus emails from people worldwide who like the shot and ask questions on how it was taken, image processing techniques, etc.
PATCH: Anything else would you like to say?
ROSINSKI: I encourage people to look up and marvel at God's universe, turn off the TV, get outside, slow down from the busy pace of daily life and let your heart be filled with wonder and awe. Just with your eyes and a simple star chart you can explore.
It never gets old, and as you are looking for some star formation, or at parts of the Milky Way (Yes, it's still visible in Hartland on new moon/clear nights), every time you see a meteorite streak by it's the same feeling as the first time you've seen one. Hard to put into words, so I encourage others to look up at night and share the experiences first hand.