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Gems of Centaurus

By: Tunc Tezel

 

Region: Middle East

Site: Bolu - Turkey

Date: 2008 May 30

Omega Centauri, a globular cluster of several million stars and the largest of its own in our galaxy soars above a dark forest in Turkey. At 40-degree north the cluster rise only a bit above the southern horizon. The other observing gem of Centaurus constellation, an active galaxy called Centaurus A (NGC 5128) with a prominent dark dust band, is visible at the upper limit of image. As noted by the photographer "I discovered a dark site about 60 km south of Bolu, where I stay and usually observe. It is called Tasliyayla Plateau, with an elevation of 1600 meters. The sky was extremely clear on that night so I was able to see anything that just rose over the horizon. I pointed my telescope to the southern horizon, and the largest and brightest globular cluster of our skies was visible in the view, less than a degree over the trees. I took a picture of the pair with a telephoto lens piggybacked on the telescope for 4 minutes. Because of the tracking drive the resulted image had a blurred foreground. I immediately turned the clockdrive off and started another exposure with a sharp foreground and star trails. The double exposure image result is achieved by merging the sharp sky and sharp foregrounds of the two images. It is just similar to the spectacular view which visible using a pair of binoculars". Tunc Tezel.

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