Friday, May 07, 2010

Southern Cross

The Southern Cross is perfectly placed in the South during the early evening hours. We usually can't see it because of the haze and clouds we are having this year, but last night was pretty clear.

We went out to Red Slave to see what we could see and it was pretty nice for an hour or so. Sandra did some observing with 10x50 binoculars and I took a bunch of 10 second exposures with the camera on a stationary tripod.

I later combined the the best 36 images on the computer and tweaked the result in Photoshop. The software did a pretty good job at ignoring the clouds that passed by, but the bank of haze along the horizon is pretty plain to see in the photo. Really REALLY clear nights, right down to the horizon are rare here, but treasured when they do occur.

The Southern Cross looks like a kite or diamond shape and is located towards the top of the picture and centered from left to right. Alpha and Beta Centarus are at the left side of the picture and are more or less pointing at the Southern Cross. The Eta Carina nebula and some nice star clusters are towards the right side of the picture.

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