Astronomy photography - Constellation Aquarius photo with description

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Constellation Aquarius

Kodak Pro 400 PPF - 6 x 7 cm Pentax medium format camera w/55mm lens

Aquarius is a constellation of the zodiac, situated between Capricornus and Pisces. Its name is Latin for "water-carrier

This photo of Aquarius shows, enlarged in their true color, the main "naked eye" stars that make up the shape of the constellation. The photograph also reveals deep space detail in this region of the sky including "The Helix Nebula" seen as a small red circle in the center of the photo near the trees.

Our photographic technique was used that we call a "motion stop sequence" to get the long exposure of the constellation and a sharp exposure of the trees in the same photograph. The camera must accurately track the movement of the stars across the sky over the hour long exposure to keep them from smearing on the film. Then a new exposure is taken with the tracking drive turned off to capture the "Earth scene" and keep it from smearing on the film. Then the two are merged together so the final photograph shows both components clearly as they looked to the observer in "real time".

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