Monthly Archives: August 2013

Milky Way Rainbow

Yesterday I arrived home from a wonderful overnight astronomy camping trip with some friends. We enjoyed a regular wheatbelt location, Kokerbin Rock. I’ve been camping and photographing there since 2000, and it’s good to see the place is holding up OK given the increased usage it appears to be receiving.

The night was an astrophotography bonanza for me, with two cameras going on two mounts and me hiking all over the place getting different vantage points. I returned home with what seems like being 23 successful distinct astrophoto’s. Each will require at least a couple of hours processing, so it will take me a while to work through them!

Here is one of several nice panoramics from the evening. It includes (left to right) the Small Magellanic Cloud, Large Magellanic Cloud, Milky Way (featuring the colourful┬áRho Ophiuchi Cloud Complex nestled under the arch), and then the bright green glow called “airglow” on the right above the horizon.

Milky Way Rainbow

My favourite feature of the photograph is probably the clump of trees making the beautiful silhouettes on the centre-right. I have several photographs with these and look forward to showing them at their best. They are a very nice stand of eucalyptus trees.

Air Glow is something I only learned about in the last year or so. Before then I would have worked hard to remove this colour, considering it to be unwanted atmospheric interference in an otherwise good astro photograph! These days it is common to make the Air Glow a feature, as the green here has become, and it sure does bring some colour to the scene.

Here is another shot from the night, posted on my Facebook page yesterday, showing some fellow campers in the area with their camp fire and lights causing a myriad of colours silhouetting the trees!

Camping Under the Stars

Well, that is two out of 23! Look forward to another 21 photo’s coming your way over the next few weeks! And I still haven’t finished processing images from several weeks ago…


Pluto in a field of Stars!

It is very hard indeed to pick out Pluto amongst this amazingly dense field of stars it sits in front of, the stars of the Milky Way.

This photo is a short series of exposures (3 exposures each of 3 minutes). The photo sets Pluto against the background stars of the Milky Way. While the photo is not necessarily aesthetically amazing it is amazing to see just how lost the small speck of Pluto is amongst the thousands of stars of the Milky Way.

This field of view is approximately 4 degrees wide by 2.6 degrees high. I have superimposed a view of the Moon to show its relative size, to give you an idea of the scale.

Pluto in a field of Stars!

Click on the image to view a larger size version.


Antares With Nebulosity

This evening I thought I would have some fun with my Canon 6D on my Megrez 90, the telescope is permanently mounted in my observatory and not often used these days, with my focus instead on science through the 12″ SCT or wide field nightscape photography out and about.

I went straight to one of my favourite regions of the sky, the areas of nebulosity near the bright star Antares in the constellation of Scorpius. This area is just so dynamic and colourful. Full of star clusters and varying colours of nebulosity while being embedded in the sea of stars that is the central area of our Milky Way galaxy. The region is also known as the Rho Ophiuchi Nebula.


Technically, this is a two frame panoramic where each frame is a stack of 10 exposures each being three minutes in length and at 3200ISO.