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Not a large spider, but an astonishing area of the night sky. The image shows the area in the constellation Dorado (the Dolphin fish or Swordfish), around the Tarantula Nebula, a huge area of gas and dust where stars are being formed, which is in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a nearby galaxy outside our Milky Way, and closely associated with it. There are a lot of firsts for me in this image.
I am very pleased with my first image from iTelescope of the famous double cluster in Perseus. I have not yet managed to unpack my telescope and CCD camera since we moved here. On the rare occasions that I have had time to think about practical astronomy, the weather has not been helpful. Although the night sky here is much better than it was in our old house, it is not good.
It’s rare to have a clear night in the West of Ireland, but I was lucky while we were staying at my in-laws in Headford, County Galway. Rather than trying to take a quality astrophoto, I wanted to capture an impression of the rural sky and just how much we are missing in the south of England. I put my DSLR on a tripod, set the ISO to 800, and set the lens to 24mm and wide open at f4.
Sadly, we had to go to the West of Ireland for my Father-in-Law’s funeral. For part of the time we were there, we stayed in a lovely thatched house, an AirBnB near the village of Cong in County Mayo. Although the house was close to the main road into Cong, it was well above the road up a steep drive, and looked out onto fields and woodland across Lough Corrib and Connemara.