Saturday, 5 June 2010

The Sting of the Scorpion.

We’ve been blessed with clear weather recently. So I thought I would test the transparency of the atmosphere by trying to see how far south I can see. As it is June, the constellation of Scorpius rises after dark, with its many stars of low declinations. The South horizon of the observatory is pretty good despite the healthy hedge growth this year. From latitude 52º 32’ 17” I thought I wouldn’t have much of a chance of seeing the stars ε and λ Scorpii at declinations -37 6’ & -37 18’. The stars, called Shaula and Lesath, represent the sting of the scorpion. But I caught my first glimpse of Shaula from Norfolk in binoculars. I took 65 x 5" shots with a 135mm f/2.8 lens on the 350D in two bursts during moonrise. The stacking process has given the picture a strange looking blurry horizon. Perhaps an animation is in order. The clusters M7 and M6 (top) along with 'the hockey stick' on the right make a nice composition.

1 comment:

Bob Samuel said...

Lucky man. Last night, I could barely see Antares in the light polluted murk I have due south of me! On the other hand, it looked pretty good from the south of France early this week... :-)