Omega Centauri globular cluster

Omega Centauri is a large globular cluster close to the Southern Cross in the constellation of Centaurus. See the finder chard below to help you find it. The cluster is visible with any binoculars (and telescope). It looks like a 4th maginitude star with the naked eye but with a telescope it resolves into thousands of pinpoint stars. This cluster is the brightest and largest globular cluster in the entire sky. It is a ball of stars that cover about the same area of the sky as the full moon.

I played around with my 8″ SCT last week in the southern suburbs of Adelaide under very bright skies. The moon was beginning to set but the city lights was still very bright.

The following image is nothing to write home about. Due to the very bright sky the noise levels are very high and battled to make a decent image of it.  I promise to do better next time under a dark sky. The image is made up of 6 light frames of 20 seconds each at ISO1600 and 2 dark frames all stacked by DeepSkyStacker and processed with Photoshop CS2 and Lightroom 4.4. The telescope is f/10 but I used a focal reducer on it that brough it down to f/6.3.

Picture saved with settings applied.

To find Omega Centauri, start from the Southern Cross (hopefully you can find that in the southern sky). Then find the star Hadar (or Beta Centauri, its one of the two pointers), then trace a line through a small star to Omega Centauri. If the sky is clear and dark you should have no problem finding it with binoculars.

Omega Centauri


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