Monday, September 5, 2016

The Dark Gems of Northern Aquila

Last night was an imperfect night, however there were still images to be made.  A dark clear night always has something worthwhile to offer despite haze and airglow.

One image in particular caught my attention.  My fascination with the Great Rift and it's meanderings though the northern sky has been a lifelong pursuit, both visually and photographically.   I've shot a lot of film at these regions and only lately have used the digital camera as a way to observe.  It is hard to believe that such a photo could be had in only five minutes.  My recent life changes demand I take less time for my favorite avocation.  It allows me to enjoy the night further expanding what is possible.

The target this time around is the region west of the bright star Altair.  It was a simple image to acquire.  A brief exposure using the Pentax K-5IIs and the venerable Samyang 135 f/2 @ f/2.8 and five minutes ISO 800.

The Span between Altair and the Great Rift 

Included in this grand view are many dark nebulae, a few notable ones, including Barnard 142/143 and less notably Barnard 334/337.  Dark nebulae LDN 673 and 684 straddle the Great Rift and are very tenuous.  All of these however are visible in large astronomical binoculars from a dark site.

Take a look at this region west of Altair next time you are out diving into the deep.