Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Cloudy Nights or Orion Over the Huts

The moon is in hiding right now, so if it wasn't so consarned rainy and cloudy, I'd be outside every night soaking up the beauty of the Bonaire Sky Park, as George DeSalvo calls it. But, since I had already gotten soaked during my after work bike ride yesterday, I stayed inside last night and played with some images from last month. You can see Orion a little above and to the left of center in the photo below. The Pleiades are just barely above the middle of the roof of the right hand slave hut, and the Hyades (the horns of Taurus the bull) are to the upper left of the Pleiades. The photo above is a combination of five or six 19 second exposures at ISO3200 with the camera on a fixed tripod. Combining a a number of individual images helps cancel out some of the random noise that one sees when imaging in low light and with high ISO settings. I'm pleased that some of the star colors were preserved (check out Betelgeuse and Aldebaran) and that you can even see a hint of Barnard's loop arching above Orion's belt.

This is a close up of Orion's belt and sword that I shot from the back yard last month. It is a combination of 2 minute exposures shot with a 85/1.8 lens at f4. I processed the heck out of this image to try to bring out the red nebulosity that abounds in this part of the sky. What I really need is longer exposures from a darker site. (like Red Slave) You can see hints of this same nebulosity in the top image, and that does impress me, since the exposure time was so short for that shot.

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