Monday, June 15, 2009

Attempt at Omega Centauri

During the summer months in the US, Omega Centauri teases us with a short visit to our lower southern skies. If you're careful, you can catch it as it swoops low over the southern horizon. The darker the observing site, the better. Despite it's size and brightness, you'll need decent skies and very little light pollution to make the most of it from Northern skies.

I captured it tonight as the skies cleared (for a change). This image below is the best variation of post-processing. I realized once I got home that I had the camera slightly out of focus. Blast!

I do miss looking at this object from Australia when I am there, but it was fun to image it from Texas nonetheless.

Image Details:
  • Nikon D40
  • Meade LX200 8" F6.3 on Milburn Wedge
  • 20*30 second exposures
  • ISO 1600
  • Stacked in Registax
  • Sharpened, curve adjustment in GIMP
  • Noise removal in Neat Image
Click on image for full size






5 comments:

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MyAstro said...

Great picture, you've got sharp and pin-point stars though it is not very well color-balanced. It seems to much green?

Phil said...

Thanks! Yes, color balance is so-so, and I attribute that to the cluster being only about 15 degrees above the horizon and shooting it through the nearby city's light dome.

Rory said...

Awesome, Phil! That's a really good shot.

We're at about the same latitude. I can view Omega Centauri through a gap between the trees in my back yard, but it has to compete with the light pollution from Huntsville, which is to the south. I saw it for the first time a few weeks ago. Beautiful!

Phil said...

Thanks, Rory! Yes, pretty cool object this. When I used to live in Australia it was almost at zenith, and through my Dad's 10" dob it's outstanding viewing. Still, nice to be able to see it from here too.

Clear skies!