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Coronavirus: Clear nights skies delight photographers

Star trail over Ramshaw Rocks in the Staffordshire Moorlands, StaffordshireImage copyright
Ben Lockett / SWNS

With most people spending many hours at home, photographers are having to find new ways to express their creativity.

And with fewer aircraft in the skies, those who venture out at night to photograph the heavens no longer have to spend hours removing passing aeroplanes from their pictures.

“I usually end up spending a lot of time removing light trails caused by passing aircraft but I only had one plane to remove from these images, instead of the usual 20-30,” says student Ben Lockett, from Staffordshire, who takes pictures such as the one above during his daily exercise.

The pictures are taken using a long exposure, with the apparent motion of the stars due to Earth’s rotation.

Another photographer, Andrew Whyte, says: “On Friday night, I continued to observe the lockdown and didn’t even cross the threshold of my front door.”

Star trail in HampshireImage copyright
Andrew Whyte / SWNS

Image caption

Passing satellites caused the straight lines in this shot, taken in Hampshire

“At a time when there’d usually be a steady passage of friends and couples on their way home from the pub or taxis dropping off partygoers, I saw a single person out for a walk and no cars at all.

“I was further relieved when it came to processing the shot, because the sky was empty of planes.”

Star trail showing the normal interference that planes have on these images - taken over Hampshire,Image copyright
Andrew Whyte / SWNS

Image caption

This picture, taken before the reduction in air traffic, shows how aircraft usually appear in night-time shots

Photographer Jon Mills believes the pictures perfectly capture the incredible times the world is experiencing.

He says: “While those on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic are ever in our thoughts, many of us will spend weeks or even months shut in our homes.

Star trails over Portishead, North Somerset - also seen at three small meteorsImage copyright
Jon Mills / SWNS

Image caption

Three small meteors can be seen in this shot, taken in Portishead, North Somerset

“The extraordinary nature of this situation is giving us a unique opportunity to enjoy the incredible beauty that is all around us.”

Star trail taken over Miserden Lake on the Miserden Estate, at the village of Miserden near Stroud, GloucestershireImage copyright
Brian Johns / SWNS

Image caption

This was taken next to Miserden Lake, on the Miserden Estate, at the village of Miserden, near Stroud, Gloucestershire

Star trail over Ringwood, Hampshire - also seen are a number of small meteorsImage copyright
Nick Lucas / SWNS

Image caption

A number of small meteors can be seen in this shot, taken over Ringwood, Hampshire

Star trail over Highams Park, LondonImage copyright
Jawad Saleem / SWNS

Image caption

This was taken in Highams Park, north-east London

Star trail taken from inside a house in ShropshireImage copyright
Andrew Fusek Peters / SWNS

Image caption

This was taken from inside a house in Shropshire

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Star trail over ShropshireImage copyright
Nick Jackson / SWNS

Image caption

This was taken in Shropshire

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All photographs subject to copyright

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