Thursday, June 26, 2008

High clouds abound

I made the trip to the Parkway to image the Rho Ophiuchi region of the sky. In case you are wondering where that is, if you look to the south, you will see a bright, red star. That star is Antares, or alpha Scorpii. Just above and east of Antares is a triple star system called Rho Ophiuchi. You will need a telescope to see all three stars, but they kind of look like Mickey Mouse. A large star, and two smaller stars above it that look like mouse ears. I images the other night for thirty minutes, and upon checking the results, before I continued, I realized that there were high clouds corrupting my exposures. It was pointless to continue imaging, so I packed up and headed home. Hopefully, I will get a decent imaging opportunity soon.

This is the Rho Ophiuchi region, and Rho Ophiuchi, the "Mickey Mouse" looking triple star system. You can see some nebulosity around the triple star system in this relatively short exposure of 30 minutes. To really bring out the colors, exposures around 90 minutes are best.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Looking for Fair Skies

Well, the Roanoke area definitely needed the rain, but the clouds make observing exponentially more difficult. We have just had a passage of a cold front, and the air is cooler and drier. With a waning moon, I might be able to get some good astrophotography time in the next few nights, if the skies cooperate. If I do, the photos will be up here soon. The images I shot of the Rho Ophiuchi region were a bit out of focus, so that night was wasted. Must try not to waste another night relying on the focus of one camera body to work with another camera body. Evidently, the camera bodies are not exactly the same distance to focus, even with the same lens. Lesson learned.