Image Credit & Copyright: Mike Taylor
The early morning hours of May 6 were moonless when grains of cosmic dust streaked through dark skies. Swept up as planet Earth plows through dusty debris streams left behind periodic Comet Halley, the annual meteor shower is known as the Eta Aquarids. This inspired exposure captures a meteor streak moving left right through the frame. Its trail points back across the arc of the Milky Way to the shower’s radiant above the local horizon in the constellation Aquarius. Known for speed Eta Aquarid meteors move fast, entering the atmosphere at about 66 kilometers per second. Still waters of the small pond near Albion, Maine, USA reflect the starry scene and the orange glow of nearby artificial lights scattered by a low cloud bank. Of course, northern hemisphere skygazers are expecting a new meteor shower on May 24, the Camelopardalids, caused by dust from periodic comet 209P/LINEAR.
NASA APOD 09-May-14
M35, on the right, is relatively nearby at 2800 light years distant, relatively young at 150 million years old, and relatively diffuse, with about 2500 stars spread out over a volume 30 light years across. An older and more compact open cluster, NGC 2158, on the left. NGC 2158 is four times more distant than M35, over 10 times older, and much more compact with many more stars in roughly the same volume of space. NGC 2158’s bright blue stars have self-destructed, leaving cluster light to be dominated by older and yellower stars. Both clusters are seen toward the constellation of Gemini.
Imaging telescopes or lenses: Sky-Watcher 200/1000 Black Diamond
Imaging cameras: Canon EOS 450D
Guiding cameras: Lunatico Astronomia QHY5-II
Software: PHD Guiding, Incanus APT – Astro Photography Tool, PixInsight Core 1.8
Dates: Dec. 27, 2013
Frames: 24×300″ ISO800 bin 1×1
Integration: 2.0 hours
Author: Jose Fco. Del Aguila
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 09 May 2014