Admiring Leo’s bottom

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The plan was to get up early if the sky was clear.  Somewhat surprisingly, this worked.

Equally surprisingly, the time exposures worked.  The optimum seemed to be five or six seconds; ten picked up more light, but the stars began to streak.  I’m not sure how much was due to star trailing proper, and how much to the gusty conditions; my tripod is bottom-of-the-range and will wobble easily.

Having crawled about over star maps to identify what has been photographed, the camera seems to pick up stars down to about magnitude 4.  It’s not apparent on the reduced-size images here, but in the full size images the camera also began to record colour, particularly evident in Betelgeuse and Rigel as they are lavish with their light.

Here are the deities again, with an aeroplane flying out of Leo to pass between Regulus and Venus.  It’s obvious how over-exposed Venus is but nothing can convey the oncoming-headlight effect of it.  Worth going out in the cold just to see.  PS the aeroplane really is there but invisible unless you open the full size image)

heavenly aeroplaneA tidy view of the back end of Leo.  Mercury is somewhere in the tree.  Pass me a saw, somebody.

Leo2

And then, of course Orion, with Procyon and Sirius filling up the frame.

OrionNow if only I can get the camera and the scope into use together, even as a piggy-back arrangement … the tracking would be invaluable for long exposures.

Onward?

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