Sunday, December 23, 2007

Starry Nights

It has been quite cloudy and rainy, here on Bonaire, for a couple weeks now. But back on December 11, I got out in the back yard and took a few pictures of the Milky Way running from Cassiopeia over to Taurus. This composite picture runs from Cass. to the Pleiades. The top picture has some labels to help you know what you are looking at. At the top left of the picture is the Andromeda galaxy, which I've incorrectly labeled M33. It is really M31. I could also see M33, the Triangulum galaxy, in the original picture, but I don't know that you can spot it in this downsized version, although it is barely there at the middle of the top edge of the frame.

At the left side of the picture is the constellation Cassiopeia, it is below the Cass. label and is pretty much lost in the clutter of stars. The double cluster between Cassiopeia and Perseus is above the "D" in the label. Comet Holmes is to the lower left of the "C" in its label, and is above the central part of Perseus. Then way over on the right side of the picture is the Pleiades, located to the upper left of the "P" in the label.
The lower picture is a little larger and doesn't have any pesky labels in it. There is another comet in the sky right now, not too far from the site of this picture. It is much dimmer than comet Holmes, but we'll look for it later this week when the moon isn't up.

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