Cluster in Centaurus
object is always low on the horizon for us northern hemisphere
observers, however with some digital darkroom techniques (detailed
below), we can present a very attractive shot of this celestial
wonder. This field is 6.5 degrees wide, and shows a colorful
star filled region around the globular. Omega is 3.9th magnitude,
and spans a huge 1 degree across. The brightest stars are around
11th magnitude, with most being around 14.5th. At -47.5 declination,
it is only 8.5 degrees above my horizon from Northern Arizona.
The core in this wide field rendition appears slightly greenish
because the blue and orange supergiants will meld to their average
color at a lower resolution, hence green. Please look at the
largest image if you can, it has tremendous detail.
Two images as seen
below were taken spaced about 15 minutes apart along the southern
horizon between the ponderosa pines. Since both images had trees
but in different locations, the pair was first aligned in PixInsight,
then layered in Photoshop. By combining combinations of these
images in pairs with both lighten and darken, the final image
was obtained, with no trees. The image was then flattened in
Pix to remove the typical 15 percent vignette of the schmidt,
and the stars and background were color corrected for a neutral
tint via histogram color equalization.
Instrument: 8" f/1.5 Celestron Schmidt Camera
Platform: Homemade GEM
Film: Kodak Supra 400
CCD Autoguider: ST4
Location: Happy Jack, Arizona
Elevation: 6800 ft.
Sky: Seeing 8/10, Transparency 8/10
Outside Temperature: 40 F
Processing: Photoshop, PixInsight Pro.
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