Sadr Star – Intersection of the Northern Cross
Photographing the Sadr Star in Cygnus
If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that I was poking around in the middle of the constellation Cygnus last weekend, specifically centered on to the extremely bright Sadr star. I really wanted to post a really snazzy wide field photo of this region on this blog, but I was unhappy with my results.
I set my mount and telescope up for imaging in the South, at the far edge of my backyard. This spot was a poor location for shooting straight up overhead at the constellation Cygnus for me, as I ran into trees by 1:30 am. The result, only 1 hour of total exposure on a hot night. Even the stacked final image including 15 dark frames was noisy after stretching!
I was already sad about the trees, but after seeing my noisy photo, I was Sadr. (anyone?) Clearly, I need more time on it.
The night was not a complete waste. Aside from the mosquito bites and the ever constant worry from my neighbors “what is he doing out there!?”, I was able to snap this neat little photo of the Summer Triangle. The stars that make up this giant asterism are Altair, Vega, and Deneb. For this shot, I used my Canon 70D and 17-40mm lens, riding on the Sky-Watcher mount. 15 – 40-second shots were stacked together for the final image.
The Summer Triangle
Tonight’s the Night – Gamma Cygni
With the almost first-quarter moon setting tonight around midnight, and clear, cool skies in the forecast for the Niagara region, it looks like I am set for round 2 tonight. Tomorrow night looks clear as well, will this be the weekend of the Sadr Star? That might be the nerdiest thing I have ever said. That’s not true.
Tonight, I will position the mount for an all-night-long session in Cygnus. My plan is to frame Gamma Cygni directly in the center. From the other images of this area, it looks like I should pick up a lot of nebulosity throughout the frame.
My 30-day trial of Backyard EOS is still in effect, so I am happy to use it’s handy imaging features for another free night before shelling out the $50 US for the full version. A fair price for this impressive software. See the star map to the left for an idea of where I will be shooting tonight. If all goes well, my next post will be a portrait of the intersection of the Northern Cross.