Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Summer Milky Way

Sandra and I went to the South end of Bonaire to look at the stars back on Monday, August 28. The sky was pretty clear and there were no clouds. The moon set at 9:46 or so. I took the picture below at 10:45. We stayed out there until about midnight and saw lots of meteors, and many stars on the southern horizon that I didn't recognize. When I got home, I looked at my star charts and found that we had seen the constellations: Phoenix, Tucana, and Pavo.

I've noticed that my pictures look quite different on different monitors. This grey scale chart will let you see if your monitor can show all the shades of gray between black black and white white. You should be able to see all 11 vertical bars in each of the two big rectangles.

If you are in a darkened room, try to adjust the brightness control on your monitor so you can just barely detect the grey diagonal stripes in the middle black rectangle.

If you can just see the stripes, and if the white and grey bars really look white and gray without any color tints, then you'll be able to see pretty much what I'm seeing in the astro photos below. You can click on the chart and photos to see them bigger.

Here is a shot of the summer Milky Way. I flipped it so that it looks like it would when you first see it coming up in the south east. It is a stack of two three minute long exposures shot at F2.8 and ISO 400.

By the way, Blogger doesn't always display the full size pictures, even when you click on these thumbnails to get a bigger version. If you are into stars enough to want to see a full screen version of this photo, just click on this link.

Here is a slightly smaller version of the same picture with some constellation lines drawn in, so you can figure out what you are seeing... if you know your way around the sky. That's the stinger on the tail of the scorpion on the right edge, the Sagitarius "teapot" towards the lower right corner, and Scutum at the lower left. This part of the sky is chock and block full of interesting things to look at with a telescope, or even binoculars.Posted by Picasa

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