Sagittarius to Scorpius
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Here is an image I captured of the milky way core, from Sagittarius to Scorpius. This image was a huge technical challenge since it is a 12-panel mosaic. It was also a huge challenge in capturing since every panel in this image never rises above 30 degrees elevation from my latitude in Utah, so this took some careful planning. My plan for this image was to capture it in four columns, from right to left as each column approaches the meridian. This means every panel was captured at its highest point in the sky, maximizing detail and minimizing intra-panel gradients. I also chose to capture this image from Strawberry Reservoir in the Uinta Mountains of Utah, at 8,000ft elevation with dark skies I could ensure I wouldn't be fighting any light pollution gradients in the low southern sky. Processing the image was also a large challenge due to its large size, every process took a long time to run.
This image was captured using a cooled color astronomy camera (ZWO ASI6200MC) paired with a 135mm lens and an equatorial mount. I used plate solving to ensure each panel was perfectly centered, and I used SGP to schedule the timing of my sequence to keep each panel in the optimal spot in the sky.
There are a large amount of deep-sky objects hidden in this image. There are the classics like M8 the Lagoon, M20 the Trifid, M16 the Eagle, M17 the Swan, Rho Ophiuci, the Blue Horsehead, the War and Peace Nebula, the Dark Horse, and even some less imaged faint nebula, like the reflection around Scorpius and the red Zeta Ophicui nebula at the top right.
-35 x 30 second exposures per panel
-35 x 30 second darks
- 50 bias
- 35 flats
Total Exposure: 3.5 hours