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• 11/13/09
10/12/09
    
Friday, November 13th, 2009
Last weekend i went to a very good amateur astronomy meeting in La Serena, Chile. People from Cerro Tololo, NOAO (an USA agency, i believe) touristic observatories and amateur astronomers from all over the country gave us some nice expositions and presentations. We even get a Galileoscope as a present! I'm thinking of use it as a guidescope, could this be possible?
 
The best part of the trip was, of course, observation. A friend and i grab our scopes and went to Mamalluca Observatory, in Vicuña, Chile. It's very dark there, being located in the Atacama Desert, near a lot of professional observatories. But we arrived there so late that i had decided not to bring out the telescope and only take some star trail pictures. Lucky for me, a second thought came and i started the setting up of my telescope.
 
The location was beautiful, the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds hanging high in the southern sky, the nice and very bright Milky Way, Orion to the East and Pegasus, Andromeda and Perseus to the North. I tried very hard to find the famous Double Cluster, but i think it cannot be seen from this latitude. Mirphak was just about 5º over the north horizon. Anyway, i observed in my little TV76 a lot of objects, M1 (a very tiny cloud in my 32mm eyepiece), M31, M33, M35, M31, M42, M45, 47 Tucanae, the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud, all the faint fuzzies in the SMC and the NGC3516 open star cluster. (A new record of observation for me). In my friend's scope, even his finder was full of stars!

After i ended taking my star trail pictures i decided to try with my telescope. I was very lucky, because my alignment was very good just at the start, and my batteries lasted long enought to take some images of 47 Tucanae. This image was taken at ISO1600 (i forgot to set it to ISO800 as i usually do) of 30 images of 30 seconds, plus 5 of 180 seconds and just one of 60 seconds. Darks and bias were made too.
 
This was a very good observation day. I will really miss those dark skies, and i hope to return there soon.
 
PD: The same images, a little bigger, can be found at http://www.flickr.com/stars, and sorry if i messed it up with the english!
 



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Comments:
On 11/19/09 at 10:10am Barry wrote:
We are green with envy of your dark skies. Been cloudy, rainy and nasty here for weeks now. Great images.

On 11/16/09 at 11:29pm Neil Heacock wrote:
Excellent pictures Diego! The star trails are very cool and 47 Tucanae is a simply stunning globular cluster. Thanks so much for sharing.

-Neil



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