Omega Centauri - NGC 5139 in Centaurus
One of the good things about living in Texas is that we can see this gem just above our horizon. Perhaps the grandest globular cluster of them all, Omega Centauri is compact and slightly oval in shape, shining at a naked eye brightness of 4th magnitude with an angular size that approximates our own moon at full phase. Millions and millions of stars comprise this beauty of an object which is easily resolved by even small aperture scopes, that is as long as the object is high enough at Northern latitudes to avoid atmospheric interference. This shot is wide-field, taken from very dark skies. Omega Centauri was 11 degrees above the southern horizon when this picture was shot.
Star Party 2004 near Ft. Davis, Texas
Star Park near Quanah, Texas
Note: Wind gusts of around 20 mph during time of exposure. Object was taken only 7 degrees from horizon in the midst of skyglow from a small town (Crowell, TX). Seeing was exceptional for an image this low. Thanks to Dr. Fred Koch for the use of the NJP mount and ST10xme camera.
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