Saturday, September 6, 2014

M 24, it's full of stars

"my God it's full of stars"
-Dave Bowman's final words prior to entering the monolith in 2001: a space odyssey.  contrary to my recollection, the line occurred only in the book version, not the movie, but was grafted into the movie as a flashback in the opening of 2010.  

Messier object 24, a/k/a the sagittarius star cloud,  isn't really a star cluster, it's just a bright patch of stars in the milky way surrounded by dust.  it can be thought of as a hole in the dust, allowing us to see much deeper towards the center of our galaxy.  (no frank, you can't see the black hole).  The bright patch can be seen with the naked eye in skies dark enough to see the milky way as a bright patch above sagittarius


the patch of red, suggested there was some glowing hydrogen in the surrounding gas, so i decided to shoot it with an Ha filter:


Here's a combined view:


interestingly i see an Ha wall along the upper right margin of the star cloud
that is more evident in the HaRGB than the Ha itself.

if it weren't full of stars it would look like this:



Lastly here's a close up of the open cluster in the upper left portion of the star cloud i shot a few years ago:




-bill w

image details:

FS 60c @ 254 mm 5.23"/px full size
field approximately 2.5x3.5 degrees
Hutech IDAS, Chroma Loglow, Astrodon 5nm Ha filters
SX H9C, ASA DDM 60 unguided
4 panel mosiac composed of approximately 17 5 minute subs RGB
15 5 minutes subs Ha
7/21-8/17/2014
newport beach, ca

more than you wanted to know about 2001:
http://www.filmsite.org/twot.html
http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?MyGodItsFullOfStars

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