Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Starry Skies

This is the time of the month when the moon isn't around to hide the stars. We've had some clear days and clear evenings lately. However, it usually clouds up by 8:30pm or so. grrrr

Last night was pretty good till 10:30 ish. I took this picture on Saturday evening. It is a combination of three two minute exposures. If you venture outside and are able to find Orion, and Orion's belt, then you can find the location of this picture.

Following the direction of the belt to the South more or less points you to Sirius, the brightest star. Following the direction of the belt to the North brings you to a V-shape (the Hyades), bright reddish Mars, and then the Pleiades, which looks like a teeny tiny dipper, or meat cleaver.

In the photo, you can see the Hyades (we call it the horns of the bull Taurus) towards the lower left. It is actually harder to spot in the picture than it is in the sky. The bright orange star at the lower left is Aldebaran and it is at the end of one side of the V shape. The V goes down to the right and then back up a little left of vertical.

The little clump of stars partway up the left side of the picture is called NGC1746.

Mars is the bright orange "star" a little bit to the upper right of the middle of the frame, and the Pleiades are further towards the upper right. You can see a little bit of blue nebulosity around some of the stars.

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