Night of the Milky Way

It has become increasingly more difficult to observe the night sky in its natural state. The millions of stars and faint celestial objects have become harder to observe with the addition of more light into the sky. Capturing and observing the dramatic stellar scapes of the Milky Way now require longer trips far away from city lights. Ensuring the right time, location and equipment can be difficult especially for new observers and photographers. 


Focus has teamed up with the Point Mugu State Park again to offer a special one night event for those looking to try their hand at capturing one nature's most beautiful displays. We have taken the time to find a location and time that will allow us to easily capture the Milky Way while being close enough for many to join us. 



About Night of the Milky Way

Night of the Milky Way is a special one night event that will give people a chance to view the best skies found on the Malibu coast line. This event will allow those interested in trying their hand at nightscape photography along the beautiful beaches of Malibu/Oxnard coast line.



For this event Focus tracked down the darkest skies we could find on the Malibu coast line which happens to be Sycamore Canyon Cove in Oxnard, CA.  Sycamore Canyon will provide a beautiful land scape setting to capture images of the Milky Way setting over the ocean and beaches. We have picked out the best night for this with no moon in the sky to hinder the view of the Milky Way.



Point Mugu State Park

9000 Pacific Coast Hwy

Malibu, CA 90265


Event Layout


Telescopes: 7:30pm to 11pm

Starting at 7:30pm telescopes will be available for viewing many of the nights popular celestial objects including the Lagoon, Trifid and Swan nebulas, Hercules Star Clusters and the planet Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars! 


DSLR Nightscape Photography Lesson: 8:30pm

For those with DSLR cameras looking to try their hand at nightscape photography. A small talk about how to capture celestial images will begin at 8:30pm. Please bring your own photographic equipment. We recommend a wide angle lens, fully charged battery and tripod. 


The talk will go over the basic tips for capturing images of the Milky Way. This includes camera aperture, ISO settings and exposure settings. This is a very lesson for beginners so everyone is welcome. 


The Focus team will be onsite from 7:30pm to 11pm to operate the telescopes and answer any questions you may have. 










Photographic Opportunities

Star Trails 

Star trails is a dramatic type of image that displays the star's motion across the sky. The images are captured over a long period of time. As the camera shutter is left open the stars make their way across the sky causing the path to streak across the image. What you are left with it a beautiful display of celestial mechanics. 


Right Image: 

The image to the right was capture of the course of any hour using a Canon 60Da and 16-35 f/2.8L lens in west Texas. This is a great display of a star trail image. Image Credit: Focus Astronomy





Using telescopes to capture images of a distant object can be quite an experience. Astrophotography can be quite difficult as everything in the sky is moving during the exposure. Focus will have several pieces of equipment to help you capture images of several celestial gems.


Right Image: 

This is an actual image of the Lagoon Nebula (M8) taken from Sycamore Cove using our 9.25" telescope and a Starizona Hyperstar at f/2.3 using a Caon 60Da.  


Image Above:

The Milky Way as seen from Sycamore Cove, Malibu, CA. This is a 20 minute drive from down town Malibu. This image was captured using a Canon 60Da and 10-22 wide angle lens. A 30 second exposure at ISO3200. The Milky Way can easily be seen naked eye rising over the ocean to high over head. 


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