Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Chasing M22 and Bicarbonate of Soda

August 11th 2015 - 21h45m UT - Nikon D3000

Just before the teapot disappeared from sight, I set up the Schmidt and took a quick peek at the area
around the teapot's handle. 

It had to be a quick peek, as thanks to the trees, my window of viewing below the ecliptic is pretty small towards the south.

No matter, I managed to spot Messier 22; what a lovely globular.

View with 40mm Kellner eyepiece

Through the Schmidt with a 40mm Kellner it had about it a ghostly quality. The stars within the misty globular shimmered, and every so often a twinkling would appear from within this mist. 

To my eye M22 is far superior to the brighter M13.

After only ten minutes of observing the dew started to settle on the corrector plate. I decided to pack away the telescope, and for once get an early night.

Viewing the rest of the Universe would have to wait until tomorrow....

Capturing the globulars with Bicarbonate of Soda.

How to make a globular cluster

I've often tried to depict globulars by sketching them with black ink and then inverting the image with Photoshop.

This method never quite leaves me with the the image I'm looking for.

After a bit of pondering I thought that as the globulars resemble tiny sparkling diamonds, or maybe glinting white sand or sugar, why not photograph that.

As my diamonds were far away in Zurich, the next best thing to hand was sugar.

After a few experiments it became apparent that the sugar granules were to large.

Globular Sugar Clusters
After a further dig through the kitchen cupboards I found the perfect globular material.... Bicarbonate of Soda.

As viewed through a 20mm Erfle eyepiece

The soda is just the right consistency and texture, and once photographed and photoshopped it leaves an image fairly close to the view through the telescope.

Clear Skies 


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