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Thursday, June 05, 2014

Galaxys, stars, a meteor and a dome.

The beginning of morning twilight has started so the sky is very blue.  Near the top left of this image is a meteor streaking through the sky in the edge of our Milky Way Galaxy.  If you look closely just below the top of the dome and about halfway between the dome and the band of the Milky Way, you can see the most distant object visible to the unaided eye (in a dark sky, anyway) - the Andromeda Galaxy.  Watch out because the Andromeda Galaxy is on a collision course with the Milky Way and one day, our two galaxies will merge into a giant mess at least for a while.  Don't worry, it's still a few billion years in the future, but be sure to mark you calendars.....  This image was taken with my 10mm fisheye at f/2.8 with an exposure of 30 seconds and ISO 1600.  The dome houses our 1.8-meter Spacewatch Telescope on Kitt Peak.

A bonus image from a little earlier than the previous image.  The International Space Station is orbiting rather close to the terminator - the boundary between day and night on Earth so that it is visible longer after sunset and before sunrise.  Here is the ISS this morning over the 4-meter dome on Kitt Peak.  The trail starts above the north star, Polaris, and ends above the constellation of Cassiopeia in the Milky Way as it moved from left to right in this image.  This exposure was taken with my 10mm fisheye lens at f/2.8, ISO 800 and a 30 second exposure.  The domes, along the horizon left of the 4-meter dome are the Steward Observatory 90 inch Bok Telescope and the 36 inch Spacewatch Telescope.

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