Images from the

Australian Outback - 2

Tracked images

Uploaded 8/30/02

During our recent trip into the outback, we took along a small Maksutov, the ETX seen below because it fit well in the suitcase and provides sharp views of brighter deep sky objects. In polar mode, the mount was leaned back to 18 degrees and the axis was aimed at sigma Octans, the south polar star with a Telrad that was on its back. For photography with a 50mm lens of the Milkyway, which was on the meridian, the arrangement below was used to track the camera for about five to ten minutes. As you can see from the images below, the tracking was good enough to produce far better images than plain star trails. The red sensitive Kodak PJ400 was used for these images. While not hypered, it is very contrasty and worked surprisingly well for such short exposures.

Click on Thumbnails for larger view!

Below: This swath of the Milkyway from Norma on the left to Carina on the right is a montage of three images, with the galactic equator passing through the center of the image. It is made from the sub exposures in the panel below.

Below: The individual frames have been resized from their 56MB original size to the 100k files below. Many of the faint stars vanished from the smaller web sized images because they were about one pixel in diameter at the scanners maximum resolution.

Images are 1024x768 in size
  Eta Carina 1
  Eta Carina 2
  Crux to Alpha Centauri
  The Coal Sack setting
  Norma to Centaurus
  Coal Sack and hydrogen nebs

Below: Large Panorama spanning from the horizon trees up to near the zenith. Give this image time to download, its well worth seeing the huge span of sky involved.

More images to come!
Instrument:  50mm f/2.8 Pentax Super Taukamar Lens
Scanner:  Nikon LS2000
Platform:  Bogen Camera Tripod, ETX90c
Film:  PJ400
Location:  Queensland Australia
Processing:  Photoshop, PW Pro.


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