Coronavirus: Clear nights skies delight photographers

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Star trail over Ramshaw Rocks in the Staffordshire Moorlands, StaffordshireImage source, 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."

Image source, 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."

Image source, 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.

Image source, 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."

Image source, Brian Johns / SWNS
Image caption,
This was taken next to Miserden Lake, on the Miserden Estate, at the village of Miserden, near Stroud, Gloucestershire
Image source, Nick Lucas / SWNS
Image caption,
A number of small meteors can be seen in this shot, taken over Ringwood, Hampshire
Image source, Jawad Saleem / SWNS
Image caption,
This was taken in Highams Park, north-east London
Image source, Andrew Fusek Peters / SWNS
Image caption,
This was taken from inside a house in Shropshire
Image source, Nick Jackson / SWNS
Image caption,
This was taken in Shropshire

All photographs subject to copyright