I was fortunate to experience four consecutive clear nights at a star party under Bortle 1 skies in the Southern Australian desert near Nhill, Victoria.

This is the second of three images from that event. Amazing skies, best star party I’ve ever been to!

Fornax Galaxy Cluster NGC 1365

Capture Details

TelescopeTakahashi TOA 130 with TOA-35 Reducer
CameraQSI 6162 WSG8
MountIoptron CEM70G
FiltersChroma LRG&B
Guiding CameraStarlight Xpress Lodestar X2
Integration time (Exposure)6.25 hrs
LocationNhill, Victoria, Australia
DateNov, 2023

About this Galaxy Field.

Named for the southern constellation toward which most of its galaxies can be found, the Fornax Cluster is one of the closest clusters of galaxies. About 62 million light-years away, it is almost 20 times more distant than our neighbouring Andromeda Galaxy and only about 10 per cent farther than the better-known and more populated Virgo Galaxy Cluster. Seen across this wide field of view, almost every yellowish splotch on the image is an elliptical galaxy in the Fornax cluster. Elliptical galaxies NGC 1399 and NGC 1404 are the dominant, bright cluster members toward the upper left. A standout barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365 is visible at the lower centre as a prominent Fornax cluster member. (text © APOD) 

Please enjoy this image and have fun playing ‘Where’s Wally’, spotting all the teeny-tiny feint fuzzy galaxies in the background!
I was privileged to enjoy four crystal clear nights in a row under magnificent Bortle 1 skies in the Southern Australian Desert at the VicSouth Star Party. Great company, cozy accommodation, great food and too many whiskies! I loved that once our Astro cameras were up and running happily, we could go hang out with the strictly visual crew at the other end of the field to enjoy amazing views through their many 18″ & 22″ Dobsonian ‘scopes of the same targets we were imaging.

Highly recommended if you’re planning a trip down under – it’s near Nhill close to the SA/Vic border, approx 4 hrs drive from Melbourne. Details here https://vicsouth.info/vicsouth.htm

This is also the closing chapter with the QSI 6162 wsg8 camera.  A CMOS replacement has just arrived on my desk from ATIK, I can’t wait to get it out and play!

Fornax Galaxy Cluster

Limited edition Archival inkjet prints are now available for purchase until Dec 20th, 2023.


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My God, it’s full of Stars!

- Dave Bowman - 2001:A Space Odyssey