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Milky Way over Stars End

wide-field Milky Way

Milky Way over Stars End

I have been unable to do much astro-imaging lately (solar or deep sky) but found some time to try out a new camera/lens combination and my new iOptron SkyGuider mount. I was at my observatory at Stars End, New Mexico last week and took this long exposure with a Canon 60Da and a Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 lens from my southwest-facing back deck. I had the lens wide open at 2.8 and took the photo at 800 ISO for 4 minutes. The camera was set for long exposure noise reduction so it also took and internally combined a 4-minute dark frame. I was mainly testing out the iOptron SkyGuider. I did a quick polar alignment (very easy) and a rough focus to get this shot before the clouds started rolling in. It was taken at 2:15 AM MDT on June 1, 2014 when the Milky Way was overhead. The Lagoon Nebula is quite visible close to the center of the image. Transparency was still fairly good at that time but seeing was not too favorable due to windy conditions - but still okay for wide-field. It was clouded over by 3 AM. Overall, I was impressed with the SkyGuider which was simple to set up and apparently worked very well.

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