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How good does it get?

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As we all know, long exposure photographs are able to collect more detail than our eyes ever will be able to record "live". But, a sufficiently short exposure photograph will not be able to depict an object with as much detail as a pair of adapted eyes. Since I live a long way from locations that may be able to provide near-perfect conditions, I've always wondered what they would be like. For those of you who have experienced the view of the night sky, the milky way, the andromeda galaxy, the orion nebula or whatever object, in perfect conditions. Could you please provide a realistic photograph that depicts the view that is possible to achieve? I would prefer that the pictures show less details than more, as one might get the wrong impression of what is possible to achieve. For instance, given perfect conditions, what would a view of the milky way look like?

I'm sure that what I'm looking for has been discussed on this forum before, but I'm not sure exactly what to search for, so if anyone knows of a similar thread, please post a link to it in this thread.

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It is very difficult to photograph deepsky objects in way that represents what one might see at the eyepiece, though perhaps an SGL member has something they can share with you.

In the mean time, I would point you towards the SGL thread "Mike Sketch the Messiers Project." I believe those pictures present a pretty good approximation of what you could expect to see at the eyepiece.

http://stargazerslou... mike sketches

Clear skies,


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I agree with Matthew. I've rarely seen a photo that emulates the visual view. Sketches are a better guide.

For what it's worth, the best views of the milky way don't involve any equipment at all - just dark skies and your eyes do a fine job.

I do find that the brightest globular clusters (eg: M13 and M92 in Hercules) are starting to look like a bit like their photos using a 10" scope at around 100x magnification under a dark sky.

I did view M13 and the Whirlpool galaxy, M51, through a 20" scope once and the views were jaw dropping !.

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Not really possible, besides the camera being fundimentally different the eye is selective the camera is not.

If under a dark sky you look at Andromeda then that is what you "see" the other 117 degrees you ignore, however the ignored bit is much greater then the studied bit. Cameras cannot do that, they cannot look at a wide field and still just see just the bit you want them to simultanuously.

Go look at the Milky Way under a dark sky, Casseiopia, Cygnus, Auriga, Cephius are just about impossible to see/locate, as are quite a few others. They are simply lost a they become a few brightish stars in a field of literally thousands.

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