Better late than never. Who would have seriously thought that the east coast of the US would have crystal clear skies at the end of July? Saturday we had a drenching weather pattern akin to a winter nor’-easter. Sunday, no humidity, clear skies and temps in the 70’s. My chance to complete a self-imposed homework assignment and capture Sagittarius.
These are hot off the presses – I just stacked them late Sunday night, generated a composite, and have a lot of scrutiny ahead of me to figure out exactly what I’ve got – but clearly the Teapot of Sagittarius sits at treetop level, Galactic Center is just above and to its right (pinkish area in this image), and you can see the Butterfly and Ptolemy Clusters in neighboring Scorpius, peeking out from behind the tree. The Trifid Nebula and Lagoon Nebula and the Small Sagittarius Cloud sit above the Galactic Center. There’s at least one globular cluster just east (left) of the top of the Teapot.
Somewhere in that pink glow, and visible in X-Rays that penetrate the dust, is Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. It’s a shame that from our perch way out on the Sagittarius arm, there’s so much dust in the way. Can you imagine what this view would look like if we could see the billions of stars in our galaxy’s core?
The neat part – all this was captured with a bright first-quarter Moon – the GoPro wide-angle shot gives a sense of the sky, including the Teapot through the notch in the trees, and that Moon just off frame but with an obvious glow. Saturn sits just above the peak of the roof on the right, and the head of Scorpio is right of that. The Summer Triangle (Altair, Vega, Deneb) sits in the upper left of this shot.
Get Out There!