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Omega Centauri, a ghost galaxy, from a ghost town

Under dark night skies near Big Bend National Park in South Texas, our galaxy’s largest globular star cluster.

View larger. | Omega Centauri on March 14, 2016 by Rob Pettengill in Terlingua, Texas. Visit Rob Pettengill on Flickr.

View larger. | Omega Centauri on March 14, 2016 by Rob Pettengill in Terlingua, Texas. Visit Rob Pettengill on Flickr.

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.

Read more: Omega Centauri is our galaxy’s largest globular star cluster

Deborah Byrd

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