Sunday, July 10, 2011

Milky Way

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This is our home galaxy, which we call the Milky Way.  The 10mm lens I used gives  a 107-degree diagonal view.  From the horizon to just past overhead.  The whole thing extends across the whole sky and circles underneath our feet in one huge ring.  We see the part under our feet in the Winter sky.

Only from a dark site, away from the light pollution of our cities, can you see it in all its glory.  But even when you can see the Milky Way from a dark site, you won't see it quite this way.  Our eyes see with a bit more subtlety.  Only in photographs do we see it with this much color and contrast.  The clouds of stars, nebulae and dark dusty areas are very easy to see.

The above image took almost 3 hours to take.  I piggybacked my Canon Xti with my 10-22mm lens (set to 10mm at f/5) on top of my telescope and took 22 eight minute pictures.  I combined, aligned and stacked them in DeepSkyStacker then processed it in Photoshop.

I have outlined the major constellation in the annotated image below.
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