The globular star cluster Omega Centauri is a sought-after target for astrophotographers, visible only from southerly latitudes, for example, at the latitude of South Texas. That’s where Rob Pettengill captured this photo last month, in a little town – often called a ghost town – near Big Bend National Park. He wrote:
You don’t need a telescope to capture the ghost of another galaxy. The Terlingua, Texas, ghost town is the perfect spot to image Omega Centauri, a globular cluster believed to be the remains of another galaxy captured by the Milky Way long ago.
It’s the largest globular cluster known in the Milky way, about 15,800 light years away.
The edge-on galaxy in the lower right is NGC 4945, about 13 million light years away.
I found a spot down in the gully behind our cabin for this POV.
Exposed March 14, 2016 at ISO 3200 for 30 sec at f 5.6 with 59 images stacked.
Foreground image illuminated by open cabin door exposed for 15 sec at ISO 3200.
Sony NEX-5N with vintage Vivitar 135mm lens on a Vixen Polarie tracking mount.
Image stacking in Nebulosity. HDR composite, cropping, and levels adjustments in Photoshop.
Thank you, Rob!
Bottom line: The Omega Centauri globular star cluster seen from the Terlingua, Texas, ghost town.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.