Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) - 6 panes mosaic

Mouse over for objects  -  Click on the image for the high res version (50% resolution, 4000 pix wide)
Published also on APOD!

The Large Magellanic Cloud (in short LMC) is the largest galaxy in the sky, excluding our Milky Way. The field of this image is 8° square. It is by way larger than the Andromeda Galaxy, M31, the largest one in the Northern Hemisphere, and only the third in the sky (the second one is the Small Magellanic Cloud, SMC).
This field is so rich that my friend Marco, observing together with a 50 cm Dobson from Tivoli Farm, needed many nights to observe all the main objects. Many of them are red, due to the hydrogen gas emitting H-alpha light. I've tried to find the most bright ones and they are indicated in the image above (mouse over).
This image is huge because it is a 6 panes mosaic (please look in hires!), obtained with a 5D full frame camera and a Pentax 75 refractor. 2x3 panes (horizontal x vertical) were needed, and they were collected in consecutive night during our Namibian stay at Tivoli. The total exposure is 12 hours.

Here are some crops at 33% original resolution.

Tarantula nebula, NGC 2070
The blue star cloud; many of the dots are globulars
Central part, hundreds of stars!
Dragon's head at left (NGC 2032), NGC 2014 (green circle),
NGC 2020 (at right), NGC 2011 (at top)
NGC 1763
NGC 2018

Technical Data
Optics Pentax 75 apo refractor
Focal Length
500 mm
Focal Ratio f/6.7
Exposure Time 12 h 10 min (single exp of 10 min), 6 panes mosaic
Camera Canon EOS 5D with Baader filter
Location Tivoli Farm (Namibia) at 1350 m height
26 August - 1 September, 2011
Mount Kenko NES
Tracking Lodestar at 100 mm focal length
Temperature and humidity T= 4 to 10 °C, RH=25 to 50%
Sky brightness at zenith (with SQM-L) 21.8 to 22.2 mag/arcsec^2
Notes This image is a collaborative effort of the Namibia 2011 expedition. Processing: Lorenzo Comolli. Images by: Lorenzo Comolli, Luigi Fontana, Giosuè Ghioldi, Emmanuele Sordini.

HTML Editing and Publishing by Lorenzo Comolli. Email me at
Back to Main Page