John Chumack puts the best of his astronomy photographs in a new book

Local astrophotographer publishes his best work in new book

After thirty years of making photographs of the night sky, and the sun, Dayton astrophotographer John Chumack has released his first book of photographs that include a wide variety of his work. Chumack self-published the 12x12 coffee table book Galactic Images, Astrophotography by John Chumack that features images earthly and deep space scenes in full natural color that is often mind boggling. The 72-page book is organized by chapter to separate the different types of objects Chumack has captured with film and digital cameras.
Photo: SUBMITTED

Chumack self-published the 12x12 coffee table book Galactic Images, Astrophotography by John Chumack that features images of earthly and deep space scenes in full natural color that is often mind boggling. The 72-page book is organized by chapter to separate the different types of objects Chumack has captured with film and digital cameras. 

M45 Pleiades The Seven Sisters Star Open Cluster in Taurus. Taken on 09-16-2018 with a Canon 6D DSLR & Sigma 150mm to 600mm Lens set to 300mm lens, F5.6, ISO 2500. 60 minute exposure
Photo: John Chumack/John Chumack

The sections of the book start with our own solar system objects and events: the moon, the sun, eclipses and transits where other planets cross the sun’s face. Subsequent sections take you through the aurora borealis (northern lights) planets, meteors, comets, stars, nebulae, our Milky Way and distant galaxies with breathtaking imagery. 

Zeta Orionis , Maple Leaf, Horsehead Nebula Complex 80 Minute exposure, Modified Canon Rebel Xsi, & 5.5" Diameter Newt. Scope, ISO 1600. Yellow Springs, Ohio 01-03-2016
Photo: John Chumack/John Chumack

The book also reveals Chumack’s path to reaching the quality of images he makes and how he challenged himself to build a telescope that would allow him to capture many of the deep space objects on film, before digital cameras. 

Chumack’s photos have appeared regularly in Astronomy Magazine and other publication highlights include Time, National Geographic and NASA’s EPOD (Earth Science Picture of the Day) website. 

“It feels good,” Chumack says about the book coming to fruition. “I’ve had many images published. Literally thousands of images published over the years in other books and other magazines, television, everything like that. But nothing beats the feeling of knowing that you’re a published author.” 

ToTal Lunar Eclipse - Harvest Moon- Super Moon on 09-27-2015 Captured from Lincoln, Nebraska. 8 inch Diameter SCT telescope (2000mm FL) F10, ISO 3200, 4 second exposure
Photo: John Chumack/John Chumack

Chumack credits the Miami Valley Astronomical Society for their support. “That’s my astronomy club. I’ve been involved with the club for over 30 years. They’ve always encouraged me to continue shooting and loved looking at my images regardless of how good they were.” 

When asked about his favorite photo, the answer may be surprising to some for its earthly proximity. “Probably the aurora borealis I’ve taken in Alaska. They’re phenomenal shots, but what’s more phenomenal is not the photographs, it’s actually what’s happening and what you’re watching. It’s the most fantastic light show on the planet. Those will always be my favorite.” 

Aurora Above Yurts In Chena Hot Springs, AK
Photo: John Chumack

If you like this book, Chumack says it is the first in a series he has planned, which will also include a book filled with aurora borealis photos. 

Galactic Images, Astrophotography by John Chumack is available through the website 

www.galacticimages.com

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