RBA & AF Astrophotography

From the Pleiades to the Hyades

Posted: November 6th, 2011

Click here for a larger version

Here's one of the projects that kept me busy the month of October.

It's a 12 pane mosaic of the area that goes from the Pleiades (M45) all the way to the Hyades. An area that we know well it's quite "dusty" around M45, in part contributed by the Taurus molecular cloud, but that as this image shows, and as expected although not commonly imaged, it really extends all the way to the famous V-shaped open cluster that lies behind the red giant Aldebaran.

I wasn't quite sure in which section I should post it: Star clusters or nebulae. Clearly the reference objects are two open clusters - M45 and the Hyades - both of which are in fact visible naked eye even from moderately light polluted skies. Yet, the predominant structures in the image are the dusty clouds that swirl across the entire field of view. I guess that's the problem with very wide field views: they get a bit of everything!

My favorite presentation is vertical (portrait), as this is how I get to see this part of the sky as it comes from the eastern horizon, although for presentation purposes, the smaller version up there is shown in landscape orientation.

As usual, capturing this data required me some "unusual" amount of driving to dark sites, this time reaching over 1,650 miles.

Data was rather minimal almost by design (click on the "Show image details" below to see the number of subexposures, etc). On top of that, transparency was quite poor during the whole month, and I was getting barely 21.1 ~ 21.2 SQM readings every night at the dark site I usually go to capture the data, while the average at the site is around 21.5, and all the way to up to 21.8 on exceptional nights. Still, despite all that, I think the image came out okay in general, and pretty good considering the amount of data and transparency conditions. More data wouldn't have hurt, particularly color data, but what's new? :-)

Get a poster, t-shirt, mug, mousepad... with this image!



John Bunyan (Contact, Page), November 11th, 2011, 12:34
How many frames make up the image. It's beautifully done. Do you have any issues with the focal reducer? I'm thinking of getting one. Thanks -John

RBA (Contact, Page), November 11th, 2011, 12:40
Hi John,

I said it at the beginning :-) It's 12 frames. You can also click in the "Show image details" for more info.

The focal reducer produces strong vignetting that is easily resolved with proper flats. With the STL11000 camera it also produces less-than-ideal stars at the corners, but it's barely noticeable. Other than that, I'm very happy with it and I use it a lot.

Marc Taylor (Contact, Page), November 17th, 2011, 1:45
A beautiful image. However the "Show image details" does not work. I'd love to know more about this image.

RBA (Contact, Page), November 17th, 2011, 1:58
Hi Marc,
That's odd. It works fine for me. What browser are you using?

Sabin Fota (Contact, Page), November 17th, 2011, 13:21
Hi, Rogelio, I discover your site last month and I'm impressed by your mosaics, actually those are my favourites pics. I will love to read un tutorial writen by U about this process, it will be great, because I will love to try your mosaics method. I have an 90mm WO Megrez and I have enough field of view.
Thanks for your work, it's exponential!

Marc Taylor (Contact, Page), November 18th, 2011, 1:01
Thanks for the fast answer. I'Ve discovered, that you have to hava JavaScript enabled. Keep up the awesome work :)

Scott Tully (Contact, Page), November 19th, 2011, 5:44
Rogelio Bernal Andreo,
Thank you for another great image.
I do a lot of landscape astrophotography and wide angle constellation shots and I have been taking pictures of this area all year. It is great to see a close up mosaic of the Pleiades and Hyades. Although we do very different types of astrophotography
Your work is always very inspiring and I find myself wanting to do some deep sky work. I may be putting down the 18mm lens and picking up my refractor to try for some DEEP SKY COLORS!
Thanks again for the inspiring images. - Keep up the good work.

Scott Tully

Bonobo, Cazador de instantes wapos (Contact, Page), December 1st, 2012, 5:10
Espectacular esta imagen de ambos cúmulos unidas en una foto panorámica. Es fabuloso ver a las Pléyades y la Hyades juntas con sus colores diversos y maravillosos.
Gran trabajo.

Chris Todd (Contact, Page), October 25th, 2013, 12:03
I'm curious, Rogelio, in this mosaic did you re-use your M45 data from 2009, or did you acquire new data? And don't you have enough coverage to extend this mosaic all the way to the California Nebula?

RBA (Contact, Page), October 25th, 2013, 19:09
Hi Chris, I used new data. As for your second question, I already have an image from the California to the Pleiades, although I did that 4 years ago and nowadays I'm not very thrilled with it :-)

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