"My God, it's full of stars."

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I spent last night and the wee hours of this morning doing a wide-field shoot on the Southern Cross between breaks in the horrible sodium-lit orange clouds of Canberra.

This time I took the camera out of the telescope and just used the standard 70-300 kit lens on the Canon 400D. I set the F stop for 4.5 and the Focal length at 130mm.

I piggy backed the camera on top of my telescope mount to track the stars.

After 24 x 60 second exposures (darks subtracted) I am STUNNED at how FULL of stars the Southern Cross is! To think our Sun is just one of four billion stars in our galaxy, let alone the infinite galaxies in the universe! What magnificence! There's a lot more going on in the universe than most of us know!

The main Stars of the constellation also known as Crux, (Latin for cross) are Alpha, Bata, Delta, Gamma and Epsilon Crux. Alpha Crux is a binary star (Two stars orbiting each other around a common centre of gravity. These five stars are within ten parsecs or 32.62 light years.

The dark cloudy looking object in the right hand corner is one edge of the Coal Sack, a dark nebula of stellar dust around 700 light years away, blocking the light of the stars behind it.

The object at the bottom centre is the Jewel Box, 6440 light years away and containing about 100 stars.

Higher Resolution image near the bottom of my page under widefields.

Not bad for a kit lens and no telescope!



I have the astronomy picture of the day set up as my home page, everytime I open the browser I get to see a new, beautiful image of the universe in front of me, then it probably has created more planets in the same fashion. Imagine, a world similar to ours, trillions and trillions of miles away, created by the same means..
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