Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Small Magellanic Cloud

We have had really clear moonless skies at night this week, for the first time since we returned to Bonaire in August.  I zoomed out to Red Slave to see if I could capture the Small Magellanic Cloud dwarf galaxy.  It is at its highest point, five degrees above the horizon, around 8pm this week.
I shot a bunch of 5 second long exposures with an 85mm lens at f2, and combined them on the computer.  Stacking a bunch of frames averages out the random noise but keeps the stars.

The SMC is the elongated light-ish blob more or less in the middle of the picture.  The bright "star" to its right is actually a globular cluster, 47 Tucanae.  I couldn't see either of them with the naked eye that night, so you can imagine how dim the SMC is, and how effective the camera is a collecting pixels.

No comments: