The Dark Clouds of Taurus

By: Alan Dyer

Feb 21 2011

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Constellations, Deep-Sky

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Aperture:f/2.8
Focal Length:50mm
ISO:800
Shutter:241 sec
Camera:Canon EOS 5D Mark II

An area of sky often neglected but ideal for digital imaging is the region of Milky Way in Taurus and Auriga. Threaded through this area of sky are large lanes of dark interstellar dust, forming cold molecular clouds out of which stars form. This complex is close, only 400 light years away, in our spiral arm of the Galaxy, and so is spread out over a wide area of sky. Only piggybacked cameras with normal and wide-angle lenses capture it. But today’s digital cameras are able to record these kinds of dark nebulae as more than just dark holes in the sky — they have colour, usually shades of reddish-brown.

This is a shot from January 2011 from my home backyard, and takes in all of Taurus, most of Auriga and southern Perseus, with the Pleiades at right and the Hyades below.

– Alan, January 2011 / Image © 2011 Alan Dyer

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