Monthly Archives: August 2015

A Small Piece of our Nearby Universe

NGC 2070 and surrounds of the Large Magellanic Cloud

NGC 2070 and surrounds of the Large Magellanic Cloud

A more narrow field image than I ordinarily post to my Astro Photography Australia site, this is a small piece of our beautiful southern skies. Looking at our neighbouring galaxy this is the Tarantula Nebula (NGC 2070), an absolutely massive nebula complex in the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy.

You can see prints and products featuring the Large Magellanic Cloud here

The beautiful pink nebulosity stands out from the deep space star field surrounding. Some of those stars are in our Milky Way galaxy, while others are in the more distant Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy. You are seeing the mix of two different galaxies here.

The below in the photograph “Green Skies” I have indicated where the Tarantula Nebula is, using a photograph which provides some foreground to help with scale:

Large Magellanic Cloud with Tarantula Nebula

Large Magellanic Cloud with Tarantula Nebula

The wide field “Green Skies” photograph above was taken using a 24mm lens, as compared to the narrower field view of the Tarantula Nebula taken at an effective focal length of 500mm.

Milky Way

Milky Way (cropped)It has been a while since I had the opportunity to process some wide-field colour astrophotography images. Having a three week old newborn will do that to you! This is an accidental crop from a much larger nightscape image which just made me go “wow” when I struck upon it as I was processing the whole image. I was struggling to get the whole image balanced nicely when I realised there was another opportunity hidden within.

This is only a single frame and early in the evening when temperatures hadn’t fully cooled, so you can see some noise in the image, however it is not dominant. I’ve chosen to keep the noise and not risk losing any of the sharpness in the stars, millions of which dominate the field (especially at the full 4000 pixel wide resolution of this file). The cloud on the right blurs as it moves through the frame during the one minute exposure. Just think – the cloud is maybe a few kilometers above the ground, the stars just behind the cloud are perhaps 9.4605284 Ă— 10^15 kilometres (they vary in distance of course but you get the idea).