Altair and Barnard's "E"

October 18, 2014


Photographer: Greg Parker
Summary Authors: Greg Parker; Jim Foster
October 2014 Viewer's Choice
Shown above in this extreme wide field view (10 x 7 degrees) of the summer sky is the central region of the constellation of Aquila the Eagle. The bright star at left center is Altair, the brightest star in Aquila. Alshain is below Altair and Tarazed above it -- the second and third brightest stars in Aquila, respectively. The very dark portion of the sky, just to the right of Tarazed, is known as Barnard's "E." It consists of two dark nebulae (dust and gas clouds) approximately 2,000 light years distant.

Altair also forms the southern-most star in the Summer Triangle. This conspicuous Isosceles triangle is still visible during the Northern Hemisphere's autumn season, in the southwestern sky, soon after sunset.

Photo details: Canon 5D MkII camera; DSLR and 200 mm lens were piggy-backed on a Celestron Nexstar 11 GPS telescope for tracking. Images were taken at ISO 400 and f/4 with a Hutech IDAS light pollution filter fitted to the front of the 200 mm lens. Exposures were 4 minutes with a total of 24 exposures (subs). RAW data-files expertly processed by Noel Carboni, in Florida, U.S.A.