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Andromeda Galaxy – Lake St Clair, Tasmania

Andromeda Galaxy – Lake St Clair, Tasmania

Thursday November 7, 2013

I have just come back from a whirlwind visit to the Lake St Clair and Wild Rivers National Park area of central Tasmania, and the first photo I’d like to share with you is this one…

Andromeda Galaxy, Tasmania

Andromeda Galaxy, Tasmania. Shot from Lake St Clair. For this shot I again made use of the Pentax Astro Tracer on my K5. The exposure was 60 seconds at ISO 4000, at 200mm, f2.8.

The Andromeda Galaxy is a fairly common sight for those in the northern hemisphere, but at the relatively far southern latitudes of Tasmania it is only visible for a short time of the year, and very low on the northern horizon. At Lake St Clair, I was shooting from around 10:00pm til midnght and Andromeda never made it high above the horizon, and frustratingly spent a good part of those two hours obscured by clouds.

I have never seen (or photographed) Andromeda before – I even spent a fruitless evening in Japan earlier this year on the side of a country road scouring the sky for it so to come accross it somewhat unexpectedly right here in Tasmania was a bonus!

For those interested in the night sky, I can recommend a couple of programs – one for your computer is called “Stellarium” which is a great sky simulator. You can control the time of day/night; set your location and display constellations and deep sky objects such as the Andromeda Galaxy. It is a free download. And for your smartphone, there are many sky apps – I have downloaded the simple “Google Sky Map” one – not for any other reason than it is free and it was probably the first one that came up when I searched for one! Make sure you toggle to “night vision” when using at night, otherwise the glare from the phone will make viewing the night sky even more difficult than it already is :)

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