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April 17, 2012
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The Large Magellanic Cloud by CapturingTheNight The Large Magellanic Cloud by CapturingTheNight
:icondonotuseplz::iconmyartplz: Greg Gibbs. You may not use, replicate, manipulate, or modify this image without my permission. All Rights Reserved.

The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is an irregular satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way. The LMC contains a very prominent bar in its center, suggesting that it may have previously been a barred spiral galaxy. The LMC's irregular appearance is possibly the result of tidal interactions with both the Milky Way, and the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). The bright blue/green object towards the top of the galaxy is The Tarantula Nebula (NGC 2070) which is an extremely luminous (mag. 8) star forming region. Considering that this is a nebula in another galaxy, if it where in our own galaxy at a distance of say the Orion Nebula, it would be bright enough to cast shadows.

Tried to do some deep sky imaging last night, but everything seemed to be working against me, so I packed away the telescope and just put my camera directly on the telescope mount. Managed only 20 minutes worth of data before the clouds rolled in. My unmodified camera is not sensitive enough to properly pick up the various emissions from this galaxy hence the predominantly blue nature of the galaxy.

Canon 60D
Tamron 90mm F/2.8 Macro Lens @ 4.5
ISO 800
4 x 300 seconds

The LMC and SMC are prominent features of the southern hemisphere skies and are easily visable to the unaided eye from dark sky locations. They feature quite often in some of my landscape astrophotography shots. To see just how big they are in the sky check out the following shots as well.....
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Altair75 Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2014   Traditional Artist
In addition to The Tarantula Nebula, The Large Magellanic Cloud is also known for the brightest known star, R136a1. You managed to make it magnificent. Great work. :) (Smile) 
CapturingTheNight Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you so much :D (Big Grin)
Altair75 Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2014   Traditional Artist
My pleasure. :) (Smile) 
ohfelia Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2012
hi, this is an incredibly beautiful photo! i was just wondering, what telescope do you use? i'm an amateur photographer who is very interested in doing astrophotgraphy but i'm not sure what telescope to buy? which would you recommend fot taking photos such as this? thank you! keep up the amazing work!
CapturingTheNight Featured By Owner May 1, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you very much :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 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. This image was just done with a computerised telescope mount and a standard DSLR camera and camera lens (this object is very big in the sky). 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] as a bare minimum. 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 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.
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. 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. It will tell you much more than I ever could on beginner telescope setups.
Hope this helps.
ohfelia Featured By Owner May 1, 2012
wow! thank you this is such an amazing answer! i didn't realise it was about the mount instead of the telescope... that's extremely helpful to know as it means i won't have to spend 5,000 on a telescope! thank you so much! keep up the brilliant work, i look forward to seeing more wonderful photographs from you soon!
shewolf51 Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Wow, that is absolutely mesmerizing. I'm still in awe that you can get such wonderful photos of things like galaxies.
CapturingTheNight Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you so much for the great feedback :D I'm glad you like it.
KingStephenArthur Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2012  Student Photographer
that is just amazing to look at.

If you don't mind me asking, do you work in the field of astronomy? I think it's safe to assume you've studied it at the very least? haha

I'm about to take an astronomy class and I'm hoping it will light a motivational fire within me to pursue this field of study.
CapturingTheNight Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you very much. I'm glad you like it. :D Actually no, I don't work in the field of astronomy. It is purely a hobby of mine. I have never formally studied it, I just read a lot. Wikipedia is a big help when I go to write my little descriptions of my shots ;-) I wish you all the best with your class. I would like to learn more about what I photograph one day, so I might look at doing a short course somewhere, sometime.....
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