AstroTrac Widefield & Deep Sky Images

Astrophotography Brian A. Morganti

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Taurus the Bull

Taurus - Pleiades - California Nebula



This wide field image covers an area of the sky roughly 49 degrees wide x 34 degrees high. The distinctive V-Shape of the Hyades star cluster can be seen pointing downward and slightly to the right on the lower left of this image.  The bright yellow-orange star in this formation is the giant star Aldebaran which shines brightly from a distance of 65 light-years from Earth.  This 1st magnitude star is 44 times larger than our sun and indicates the eye of the Bull in the constellation Taurus the Bull. The two bright stars in the top left of the image comprise the main stars of this constellation.  Near the center of the image can be seen the sky's brightest open cluster, The Pleiades (Seven Sisters- M45) and its surrounding blue nebulosity, and above that can be seen the California Nebula which is a red emission nebula (NGC1499) glowing in the constellation of Perseus. This tracked image was taken thru a special fog filter that slightly diffuses and enhances the colors of the brighter star images


  • Date & Location:  November 29, 2010 - Bernville, PA

  • Weather:  Calm wind - 24F.

  • Sky Conditions:  Clear with average transparency. 

  • Optics:  Canon 16-35mm f2.8 set to 23mm f3.5.

  • Filter:  Tiffen Double Fog 3

  • Mount:  AstroTrac TT320X-AG

  • Guiding:  None

  • Camera:  Canon T1i (500D) Hap Griffin Modified - Baader UV/IR

  • Exposure:  17 minutes (1 - 2min, 1 - 3 min, & 3 - 4min) @ ISO 1600, RAW

  • Calibration Frames:  No calibration frames used - sub freezing temperatures

  • Processing:  Images Plus 3.82b, Photoshop CS4, NIK, RC-Astro 

  • Comments:   Rising last quarter moon added to light pollution.  Very frosty conditions required near constant use of DC hair dryer to keep lens free of dew/frost. 



Astrophotography  -  Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors