The destination doesn't define the journey
It would seem I've been collecting data on this part of the southern Milky Way since 2014. In fact it started with a single tile and grew over time. Slowly the pieces have been coming together to make up this amazing vista around the southern most portions of the constellations Scorpius and Sagittarius. Seasonal changes, bad weather, broken equipment, and life in general often get in the way of completing projects. This is just one of many mosaic programs in progress from the Australia remote observatory. When the weather is good, and the equipment is working, each completed image tile comes together with a wide field telescope and specialized CCD camera. The observatory, located in Coonabarabran, Australia, is fortunate to be under some of the best night skies in the world and is remotely operated from California. With minimum interference from air and light pollution, this enables the telescope and camera to reveal large scale structures on our line of sight toward the Sagittarius spiral arm of our home galaxy.
What is Hydrogen Alpha?
Developed by David Lindemann, a beta version of SkySurveyor software is used to perform mosaic sequencing and automated image acquisition. The software aligns mosaic tiles along lines of RA and Declination. The overlap is 40 arc minutes for each of the tiles for mosaic assembly. Each tile has an accumulated exposure time of 180 minutes.
Mosaic assembly is enabled through Micorsoft's Image Composite Editor (ICE). A freeware that does quite well handling numerous large files. These are individual 16bit, 32gb files.
System resolution is 3.5 arc seconds per pixel, with the telescope and CCD array covering a field of 3.98 degrees.