This remarkable picture of Britain’s night sky shows one benefit of the Icelandic ash cloud’s impact on travel – a beaming trail of stars without a single aircraft.
Professional photographer Mark Humpage captured the ethereal scene near his home in Lutterworth , Leics., by taking 2,200 images over an eight hour period on Friday evening.
By layering each of the 15 second exposure pictures on top of each other it clearly charts the stars progress through the sky as the Earth rotates.
Normally such shots require careful editing techniques to remove the blazing straight lines of light caused by passing aircraft.
But since the ban on all UK air travel, for the first time the sky can be seen in all its glory without the light pollution caused by passenger jets.The effects of the volcanic ash on the atmosphere can also be seen, adding a ‘purple’ hue to the picture and warm orange glow to the lights of nearby Leicester.
A meteorite (top right small white line ) and the moon, (bright light bottom left above buildings) can also be seen travelling across the sky.