Monday, August 26, 2013

Space shots

OK, this is a bit late- but I wanted to share these. We were at a farm last weekend and away from the light pollution; stayed with a friend. And so, when every other sane person had gone to bed, I retrieved my equipment from the car, and all alone out there I took some pictures.
This one is of Cassiopeia, mother of Andromeda. It's relatively easy to find in the night sky if you look out for the distinctive W shape. It's harder to see in the picture because of the over-exposure which makes the other stars show.
 Here is the same picture with the outlines. I was not able to see this then, but was somewhat surprised when I looked at the pictures that there was a blurry blob at the lower right corner. While I was initially thinking it was a nebula, as it turns out it was probably the galaxy Andromeda (circled). That happens to be the nearest spiral galaxy to the Milky Way.
 This was a 20-second shot of the Milky Way. Thought it turned out OK; could not point it to the brightest parts as the moon was full and it would have overexposed the photo.
 And this was my shot of Polaris, the north star. Because the Earth revolves around it, on a timelapse shot like this (10 mins), the star trails tend to revolve around it.

As it turns out, Polaris is actually a multiple star, which you can barely make out on this one shot.
Sigh. This hobby is going to get more expensive really quick. I'm already wondering if I should get a larger scope.