Constellation tour in Spring

Date & Time: Feb 16 2007, 27:38 JST(+0900), 5min. Exp.
Optical: AF zoom-Nikkor 24-85mm (f=24mm, F4.8), with Cokin Diffuser-1 filter
Auto-guided with VIXEN ATLUX Equatorial
Digital Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S2Pro
Location: Ooizumi, Hokuto city, Yamanashi pref.

Camera Settings: Recording Format...12bit CCD-RAW, converted to 16bit TIFF(3024 x 2016)
CCD Sensitivity...ISO400, White Balance...Auto

ASCII/Astroarts StellaNavigator
Centaurus is one of the largest constellations visible at the lower southern sky in spring, positioned at the south of Virgo. Although the figure of Centaurus is seen only the upper part of that around Tokyo, it includes two bright stars with over the 1st magnitudes at the front hooves. The constellation marks Cheiron, the king of the Centaurus with the body of half-man, half-beast. He has a sword waving menacingly toward Lupus, the Wolf on the east.
The principal star at the Centaur's foot, Alpha Centauri, is well known as the closest to the solar system, about 4.3 light years away. And the constellation has a very spectacular globular cluster of the Omega Cluster at the back. The cluster is easily detected only with naked eyes as a normal star with about third magnitude.
The lower part of Centaurus is bathed in the "spring's Milky Way" invisible at Japan. It must be true that the view of the constellation seeing at the Southern Hemisphere is extremely splendid, the Southern Cross is positioned just south of Centaurus.

Guide for Deep Sky Objects

Omega Cluster .....Largest globular cluster in heavens, forming the constellation as a star
NGC5102 .....Small galaxy 17' east of iota Cen.
NGC5128 .....Famous radio Galaxy as "Centaurus A" positioned 4 deg north of Omega Cluster
NGC5253 .....Irregular galaxy near a border to Hydra
Shapley8 (Abell3558) .....The one of largest galactic cluster in northern region, 640 million ly away


Vela,Pyxis & Antlia

Copyright(c) 2007 by Naoyuki Kurita, All rights reserved.
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