EYES TO THE SKY
September 30-October 13, 2019
Amateur astrophotographer soars: The Eagle Nebula
Eagle Nebula by Ken Blumberg, Plainfield, MA, July 29, 2019
Looking through a telescope, we travel in light years. One light-year is equal to 9,500,000,000,000 kilometers or nearly 6 trillion miles. The Eagle Nebula, pictured here, is about 7000 light years away and includes a cluster of about 8,500 stars.
In this “Eyes to the Sky” feature we have the pleasure of looking into space through the eyes of Ken Blumberg, an amateur astrophotographer who has awed us in past issues of the BroadsheetDAILY.
Ken Blumberg writes, “The Eagle nebula is a well known bright nebula in the constellation Serpens. My photo was taken at the Rockland Astronomy Club Summer Star Party at Peppermint Park Campground in Plainfield MA on July 29, 2019. [This is an annual event, open to the public. j.i.] I was planning on only viewing but did have my new Canon 1DX Mark II camera that I use for wildlife and bird photography and adaptor to attach it to my 9.25 inch F10 Celestron Schmdt-Cassegrain Telescope. Taking advantage of the superb ISO range of the camera I tried various exposure and ISO combinations, keeping the exposure 30 sec or less. The photo … was a single 30 second exposure at ISO 20,0000. No special filters or modifications on the camera. The photo was cropped and only contrast and exposure tweaked in lightroom. The color is true color in that no filters are used and the single shot taken shows the blues and reds very well because the sensor is sensitive to blue and red. Your eyes would not see these colors because the retina is more green sensitive. We see the nebula as a white or greenish white.”
September 30, 7:45pm. On October 2 a crescent moon appears upper right of Scorpius. Scorpius sets around 8pm in early October.
Diagram Judy Isacoff, Starry Night 7
As autumn begins, look to the south-southwest as soon as darkness falls for farewell appreciations of summer stars and to become acquainted with the neighborhood of the Eagle Nebula. See diagram and, in dark sky areas, bring binoculars to scan for the Eagle.
Opportunity to Participate
October 12, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The Rockland Astronomy Club at Hudson Valley Challenger Center, Suffern, New York, is hosting a Children’s Space and Astronomy Fair. Free admission
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