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Nebulae in the Milky Way
Contest Number: 86 Contest Theme: Astrophotography Lens: SMC Takumar 35mm F3.5 Camera: Pentax SP1000 Shutter Speed: Above 6s Aperture: F4 
Posted By: stevenlouth, 10-04-2013, 09:04 AM

I have been experimenting with the lost art of film astrophotography using my old Pentax SP1000 film camera and Takumar lenses. This photo was taken using a equatorial tracking mount with an exposure of 15 minutes (bulb mode). The film used was standard Kodak Elite Chrome 100 ASA, although it was out of date by a few years (2005 I think). This particular film is particularly good for long exposures and brings out the colours of the Lagoon and Triffid nebulae quite nicely. They appear as pinky-red blobs in the lower middle, just above the blurred trees. The large black and orange thing obstructing the right hand side of the view is my telescope; a camera's viewfinder is useless in the pitch black of night, so I did not check to see what would be in the field of view.
The location was Burrough Hill in Leicestershire, where light pollution is not too bad and the Milky Way can be seen with the naked eye. This particular shot shows the constellations of Aquila, Scutum and Sagittarius, all of which cover the Milky Way.
Sadly the JPEG format does not do justice to the original TIFF image scanned from the photographic slide.

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