The beauty deep sky shining above the land


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Image taken near a small part of the largest manmade lake in Europe (250 sq km) and one of the world’s largest, called Alqueva. Around this area, we also can find some of the darkest sky regions in Portugal, like Monsaraz, inserted in Dark Sky Reserve Alqueva, the world’s first certified ‘Starlight Tourism Destination’.

From left to right, in the land, we could see the silhouette of the photographer, Babak Tafreshi, that was also making his images of the night sky. Next to the tree, we can see the light of the Monsaraz Castle, also reflected in the calm water of the lake, 30 minutes after the moonset.

Even with some light pollution coming directly from the village castle, the sky above shows a rich variety of deep sky objects that are visible in the infrared camera, like Canon EOS 60Da, as well a lot of star clusters, one asteroid and the Planet Jupiter. From left to right, in the sky, we could identify M46 and M47, M41, and above Sirius the Seagull nebula IC2177. Near the center top image, is visible another infrared emission from Rosette Nebula. Below, the Barnard´s Loop, Horse Head and Orion nebula M42, are strongest emissions indeed. A little bit to the right making the center upper image, is the Lambda Orionis (Sh2 264), Messia. Above the star aldebaran, is visible the open cluster NGC1647 and near to the left, the Vesta asteroid, and above it another open cluster the NGC1746. Below is the brightest sky object capturing in this image, the planet Jupiter, shining near the pleiades M45. In the upper right corner, is located the last infrared brightest deep sky object, the California nebula, NGC1499.

Canon EOS60Da – F/2 15s ISO4000 35mm lens. Mosaic of 24 images. Image taken in 22/12/2012 at 2:58 AM.

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