Milky Way around the Northern Cross


I met Murf at one of the Iowa City Astronomy Club observing sessions. Today (July 18, 2015), he called me and asked if we go out for an observing session. This was a great opportunity to test the barn door tracker that I constructed some time ago. So Murf and I met at Sockum Ridge Park for an astrophotography session. I mounted the barn door tracker on a stationary tripod and attached my Canon 350D with the standard zoom lens that came with it and pointed the lens towards the Northern Cross. I took 3 light frames at 18mm focal length (equivalent to 28mm for a 35mm camera) at f/5.6 with exposure times of 179s, 222s, and 295s. I also took 4 dark frames with 180s exposure times each. ISO 1600. Stacked using Nebulosity Ver. 2. The barn door tracker worked quite well. Virtually no streaking is visible. The bright star on the top (slightly to the right of the center) is Vega in the constellation Lyra. Taken on July 18, 2015.

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