While on Maria Island recently we were treated to an incredibly clear night and I decided to break out the Pentax O’GPS1 Unit and make use of its unique astro tracing function. I have posted in detail about this feature in a previous post, but in a nutshell, the feature utilises the cameras in camera image stabilisation to literally rotate the camera’s sensor and negate the effect of star trailing. The first subject of the night’s shoot was the easy to find Eta Carinae nebula.
Omega Centauri to the unaided eye looks like a regular star but is in fact a globular star cluster, as this image at 200mm, again 60 seconds shows.
Here is a map showing the location of these two features, both in the vicinity of the Southern Cross (Crux).
The longer the focal length the shorter the maximum trace time so at 200mm 1 minute is a good exposure, but at a wide angle (eg 12mm) much longer exposures of up to 5 minutes are possible. I took the following 210 second exposure of the milky way dominating the southern sky.
Finally, we engaged in a little light painting on one of the old buildings with the fantastically clear and starry skies above.
This was a single exposure, not using the astro tracing function. ISO 2500 at 30 seconds. Anyone keen to explore night sky photography could do a lot worse than picking up a Pentax K-5 which now discontinued is going for an absolute steal.