Saturday, April 12, 2008

3 Views of the Beehive Cluster

Last night was a particularly clear night in the bay area. Though the moon did keep astronomy conditions from being ideal (unless you wanted to look at the moon). I hauled out my telescope and binoculars into the backyard for a few hours of viewing. It was a great night for viewing planets and deep sky objects. Got a great view of saturn, rings and all. In all I saw 13 Messier objects and a couple from the NGC catalog. M51 (Whirlpool Galaxy) was a nice treat through the scope. Even with stray light problems, I could make out the fact that it was two galaxies. The view of M67 (open cluster) was particularly stunning through the telescope. Both M81 and M82 were visible and I could make out their distinctive shapes. All my observing was done with a fairly wide angle eyepiece. Tonight, I'm hoping to get a high power view of Saturn along with more Messier objects.

I actually kept darting between the binoculars and the telescope during last night's viewing session. One object which was great in both was the Beehive Cluster (NGC 2632). The photograph above was taken as I was observing the cluster through my binoculars and telescope.

Technical Specs: Canon 1D3, 24L, f/2.2, 6s, ISO 3200. Composite of 3 images.
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