Thursday, July 24, 2008

One Final Aussie Night Sky Opportunity

Tonight, the sky was extremely clear and crisp. Dad had been looking for a local dark sky site to take his scope to, and after some research on Google Earth, we found a spot about 20 minutes from his house. It was relatively safe, and clearly showed the Milky Way and many of the brighter DSOs were clearly visible.

His 10" Dob performed very well. We put it through its paces and toured the heavens. Omega Centauri was very impressive from this site. Jupiter was excellent as it was high in the sky. We used Dad's new 2X 2" barlow with his Panoptic 19", and it presented a very pleasing image. We also toured around the Sagittarius region. I then spent some time hunting down 47 Tucanae, a globular cluster, and found it pretty quickly. It's a beautiful cluster, not quite as big as Omega Centauri but a very bright, well-defined object that is wonderful to observe. '

While dad continued to observe visually, I broke out the D40 and targetted the Scorpius and Sagittarius region again. the image below us the result. I am happy with this as it shows the central bulge of the Milky Way rather well, and has some nice color. Stars aren't exactly pinpoint sharp (far from it) but star color is there.

Image Details:
50 * 20 second exposures
18mm focal length
ISO 800
Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker
Light Curve and Saturation adjustment in GIMP
De~noising using Imaginomic Noiseware Community Edition

[Click on image below for full size]

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