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Submitted on
March 6, 2012
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Rho Ophiuchus by CapturingTheNight Rho Ophiuchus by CapturingTheNight
:icondonotuseplz::iconmyartplz: Greg Gibbs. You may not use, replicate, manipulate, or modify this image without my permission. All Rights Reserved.

Been wanting to image this beautiful section of sky for a while now. Managed to do a bit of time on it this morning between the moon setting and the sun coming up.

This is the Rho Ophiuchus complex in the constellations of Scorpius and Ophiuchus. The faint red nebulosity on the right hand side of this image is an emission nebula (RCW129). The orange/yellow cloud is a dark nebula (IC4606). The colour comes from the light from the star Antares shining through it. Antares is one of the brightest stars in the night sky. Above and slightly to the left of Antares is The Cats Eye Cluster (M4). The faint red nebulosity to the left of M4 is Sh2-9 and Ced130. The three blue/green nebulas below that surrounding the dark brown nebula (B42) are from left to right IC 5604, IC 4603 and IC 4605.

I will certainly be revisiting this section of sky soon to put some proper time into imaging it to remove some more of the noise in this image. This is just a quicky.

Canon 1000D
Tamron 90mm Macro F/2.8 Lens
NEQ6 Pro Goto Telescope Mount (unguided)
Aperture F/4
ISO 800
Exposures 20 x 2 minutes (40 minutes total)
Dark Frames 10 x 2 minutes
Images stacked in Deep Sky Stacker
Final Processing in PS CS3
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silverfernn Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
glorious! :faint: :boogie:

googling "Rho Ophiuchus" does not tell me where in the night sky I could "imagine" seeing this object. For example, it looks as if it is part of the dark, ominously bulging section of the milky way band, close to the southern cross around midnight. ... Where is it really - and do you have a tip for a star atlas on the internet?
CapturingTheNight Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you very much :D A good online sky map is here [link] . Just enter your latitude and longitude and press go. You are probably better off searching for Antares which is the bright star in this image and it is part of the constellation Scorpius. It is one of the few stars that appears visably red/yellow to the unaided eye. To get a wider view of where to look, check out [link] Antares is the yellow star at the bottom of the frame. And then to get an even wider view (in relation to the southern cross) check out [link] The southern cross is above the water tank, then to the left is alpha and beta centauri (or the pointers) and keep travelling to the left to get to the central bulge of the Milky Way and just above that is Antares.
silverfernn Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I kept this reply in my stack without responding to it - because I thought I'd loose it if I reply... Now, I discovered the tick box "remove after reply" ...

Thank you soo much for your detailed answer!
I keep going back to it again and again whilst star grazing and while researching on the net.

On a different subject:
you once wrote you took a picture while your camera was put directly on the Orion Atlas mount - without a telescope.
Now, I am facing financial limitations... can't afford both, a mount and an 8" reflector in one go.
So I was thinking, because you mentioned that somewhere (which pic was it, by the way?), to buy the proper mount, first (Orion's Sirius - or "HEQ5") and let it do the tracking for my naked camera and longtime exposures. Until I can afford the scope.

Would that work? And if so - how?
I am doing research and posting on forums ( but so far no definitive no or yes to be had.

(I purposefully post this as a comment on your photo instead of in a private message because I always learn from reading the comments and assume so do others...)

Cheers across the ditch!
CapturingTheNight Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Oh and Ice In Space has classifieds for second hand equipment so you might be able to find a good second hand mount for a fraction of the price of new when someone upgrades to bigger and better equipment. They come up from time to time......
CapturingTheNight Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
My pleasure :D The mount is the most important aspect of astrophotography. Most people think that all you need is a great telescope to take photos like mine and it can sit on any old mount. It is exactly the opposite. A cheap mount + great telescope = poor photos. A cheap telescope + great mount = great photos. If I was you and wanted to start out then yes you are much better off getting the best mount you can afford first. Essentially all you are doing by adding a telescope is increasing the focal length so that you can "zoom" in on objects. Get a great mount and you will have years of pleasure photographing widefield images while you save up for a telescope if you decide to take that next step. I can not remember exactly which image I gave this advice before but the following links are all of my pictures done with just a mount and a standard camera and lens. [link] [link] [link] [link] [link] [link] [link] and this image that we are on now. All these images are within your reach with just a computerised telescope mount and a standard DSLR camera and camera lenses. You would probably need to do a small amount of DIY to make a solid connection between the mount and camera but this is very easy and I'm more than happy to provide further advice if/when you get the mount. A programable remote for your camera is also a must to allow looooooong exposures (up to 10 minutes or so). As long as you stick to focal lengths up to 300mm then you will be fine with just a mount. When you go to a telescope and longer focal lengths the list of equipment starts to build up. When you get to focal lengths over 800mm the mount alone is not enough to get perfect tracking of the stars and you need what is know as an autoguider which can lock onto a star and control the mount to keep that star perfectly in it's field of view. In this picture [link] that is the smaller telescope and bright glow on top of the main telescope.
In terms of mounts you need an equatorial mount, not an Alt/Az mount. I would be aiming for a Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Mount [link] This is probably the cheapest "good" mount for astrophotography. Yes there are cheaper ones that you would get away with just putting a camera and lens on but if you have plans to get a telescope like an 8" reflector in the future then this is the minimum you would need. They just get more expensive from there. I spent nearly three times as much on my mount as I did on the telescope. Mine is this one [link] If you are not going to have it permanently setup in an observatory and plan to move it outside whenever you wish to use it, then you will also need to consider the physical weight of the mount and what you are comfortable moving around. They are not lite. I wouldn't like to be carrying my mount around all the time. The HEQ5 Pro is a much lighter mount.
In terms of forums I am on which is more of an Australasian based forum. I know there are many NZ members on there. If you can find a local astronomy club in your area I can highly recommend joing and going along and introducing yourself and asking lots of questions. You will meet like minded people and have the opportunity to look at other peoples scopes and mounts and even try before you buy. Even if there is not a local club, then if you join Ice In Space and introduce yourself and say something like "seeking fellow NZ members" you might be able to arrange to meet with them somewhere and take a look at their equipment. You will be hard pressed to find friendlier people than amateur astronomers.
A great resource I found very useful when I was investigating my setup was this [link] book on CD. I can highly recommend picking yourself up a copy.
Hope this helps.
silverfernn Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Oh Man! And it does help! Yay! Cool!
bhalstead Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2012   Photographer
Only in astrophotography does a "quickie" involve 40 minutes of exposure and another 20 minutes of dark frames! Nice job nonetheless!
CapturingTheNight Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
HaHa. Yeah it's all relative. :D Thank you
theninja42 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2012  Student Photographer
nice image but needs more exposure time but that will come with the cooler nights
CapturingTheNight Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks mate :D Yeah totally agree about more time needed, but pretty happy with this for 40 minutes worth.
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