Saturday, November 24, 2012

Wide-Angle Shots

I've been experimenting with taking wide-angle long exposures with the camera mounted on the Vixen SP. Here is an image made in September 2012 of the Milky Way, with the constellation Cygnus on the left, and the constellation Aquila on the right. Prominent features include:

  • The North America Nebula, on the left.
  • The Great Rift (the dark lane that stretches across the middle of the image from left to right).
  • The Cygnus Star Cloud (the bright region just above the middle, from about the center of the image and extending to the left)
This image also encompasses part of the area that is being studied by the Kepler mission.

Note, too, that the Great Rift appears less dark on the right. This is due to light pollution from town.

Milky Way from Cygnus to Aquila; Canon EOS Rebel XS on Vixen SP mount; 15x240; click here for full size
The following was a test image made after focusing the camera on Jupiter during a brief imaging session in early November 2012. Jupiter is the bright star near the center of the image. The reddish star to the upper-right of Jupiter is Aldebaran, in the constellation Taurus. Also visible are star clusters NGC 1746 (which is actually an asterism partially composed of two open clusters), NGC 1647 and the Hyades cluster. The vertical streak is the light trail made by an airplane.

Jupiter; Canon EOS Rebels XS on Vixen SP mount; 1x30
After focusing the camera, I pointed it at Messier 31, the Andromeda Galaxy:

Messier 31, the Andromeda Galaxy; Canon EOS Rebel XS on Vixen SP mount; 6x150
My primary goal was to image the area surrounding the constellation Perseus. My time was running short and Perseus had just cleared the trees, so I pointed the camera in that direction and got enough subs for the image below. Some of the items visible here are the Double Cluster (above and right of center), and the Heart and Soul nebulae (the faint red patches below and left of center):

Perseus Region; Canon EOS Rebel XS on Vixen SP mount; 11x150; click here for full size