This last weekend saw the Ice In Space Astro Camp for 2014 happen. I arrived late on the Friday, and when I finally settled at the camp it was dark and I just didn't feel like setting up a big scope. The sky was clear, the full brilliance of the Milky Way was arcing overhead, so it was a great chance for some wide field sketching with my little 4" achro.
Omega Centauri and Surrounds
My favourite eyepiece for this little scope is my 30mm 82deg Explore Scientific bruiser. As this scope and EP combination gives me a massive 5deg TFOV, I'm always thinking "hmmm, I wonder how much of that patch I can see...". "That patch" this time was Omega Centauri and Centaurus A. Cripes! I could actually get BOTH in the one field of view!!!
Greed took hold and I wanted to sketch that entire FOV. Exhaustion from the long drive to camp took hold and I could only manage the area around Omega Centauri. But I am still so pleased with the 'cropped' sketch. Omega is seen resolved into a little ball of thousands tiny, tiny pin-point diamonds. Surrounding Omega is the mottled background of the Milky Way, and a lovely large darker patch to the left of the cluster, and another dark but smaller patch to its upper right. This big picture scene is totally missed when we magnify Omega. Blooming brilliant patch of sky,
I've sketched Omega several times, including with my 17.5", but what is lost in having such a magnified image is the incredible surrounds. I love my little 4" achro as much as my 17.5" dob.
This sketch represents approx. 4deg TFOV.
Object: Omega Centauri and surrounds
Scope: 4" f/5 achromatic refractor
Gear: 30mm 82deg Explore Scientific, 17X
Location: Lostock, NSW, Oz.
Date: 25th April, 2014
Duration: approx. 2hrs