Small Magellanic Cloud

The Small Magellanic Cloud, a small galaxy which orbits the Milky Way.

Because it is so close, it appears quite large and is too big  to fit into the field of view of my telescope, so the image was taken by piggy-backing my DSLR camera on top of the telescope, which was tracking but not guiding.

I was hoping for a better image than this but the seeing was not the best and the suburban light pollution was made worse by my neighbour who could not have failed to see me on my driveway with my telescope when he arrived home. He then promptly went indoors and turned on his industrial strength floodlights, which are aimed directly on to my driveway. They remained on all night.

Improvised Glare Control (IGC) is a technical term used by astronomers. My IGC consisted of a table, my tall telescope carry box and a large black plastic container balanced on top of that, which just about shielded my equipment from the direct light of a hundred full moons emanating from my neighbour.

This photo was a flash shot of my telescope and the Improvised Glare Control so his modern LED floodlights in the background beyond look dim in comparison.

Regardless of this misfortune, I think the SMC would be better imaged from a dark sky site.


Object Details:

NGC 292; PGC 3085: ESO-29-21; IRAS 00510-7306
Constellation: Tucana.
Visual magnitude: +2.29
Apparent diameter: 300 x 180 arc-min. (about 10 x 6 Lunar Diameter).
Actual diameter:17,500 light years.
Distance: 200,000 light years.
Altitude: 48° above Southern Horizon.


Exposure: 40 x 90 sec, ISO 500 (0 dark, 0 bias).
Date: 2017-12-13.
Location: Leumeah, NSW.
Sky: outer suburban, clear.
Interference: direct glare from neighbours floodlight.
Cloud: mostly clear, some high cloud.
Moon: No.
Processing: Canon DPP > Deep Sky Stacker > GIMP.
Cropping: no.


Imaging telescope: None.
Focal length: 70-200 mm @ 200mm, focal ratio: f/2.8-f/32 @f/4.
Imaging camera: Canon EOS 60D.
Guiding camera: No.
Guiding control software: n/a.
Guiding accuracy: n/a.
Telescope mount: SkyWatcher EQ6-R.
Polar aligning: QHYCCD PoleMaster.
Field flattener: no; filter: no.

Image © R.Powell


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