James Paulson's roll off roof observatory at the Sunridge Observatory site, taken in the summer of 1986, housing a 10 inch f/5 Cave Astrola Newtonian reflector telescope

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Visit to Barren Fork Campground

I've waited all week to spend a little time at my favorite campground and check out the darkness of this place for camera work, and tonight I was not disappointed with the sky at all. Considering that the moon is less than ideal for astronomy tonight, this site really is wonderful because you can see the dust lanes in the milky way galaxy, M31 easily with the naked eye, even the North America nebula. In fact, it's hard to pick out the constellations, but fortunately I was raised on skys like this so for me, it's like going home, and it reminds me in a very humbling way why I really love the stars, and why I crave the absence of light pollution. Barren Fork campground is a primitive campground nestled in the heart of the Daniel Boone National Forest, and it's only about 10 minutes from home.
The image above is the teapot of Sagittarius, setting at the end of twilight. It is a single 30 second exposure shot at 55mm f/5.6, one dark frame subtracted in Deep Sky Stacker. I'd really like to get shots like this on my LXD75 equatorial mount to remove the trailing and so that I can add some density to my imaging, and if all goes well, tommorow evening will be my first attempts at doing just that when I piggyback my camera and go for it.

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