Matariki and the Taurus/Perseus molecular cloud complex – Brian Boyle

Matariki holds a special place in Maori culture. A time to celebrate the New Year by remembering the dead of last year and making an offering to replenish the stars. This image, taken over four sub-zero nights captures the open cluster, the blue reflection nebula immediately surrounding it and the much larger Taurus-Perseus molecular cloud complex in which it is embedded. The Baby Eagle or Vulture Head nebula is visible towards the bottom right. The star cluster is relatively young by astronomical standards, only 400 million years old, comprising mostly massive blue stars, enhanced by the scattered blue light from the clouds of gas and dust surrounding it. This region of sky only rises to 20 degrees above the horizon at a latitude of 45 degrees South, and it is a testament to the dark skies of Otago that these faint interstellar cloud complexes can still be imaged with just a Digital SLR camera.

Camera Settings

Canon 6D MkII 200mm f2.8L USM Lens (operated at f4) 300 x 120 sec (10hours total)

Sale Details

$750 (inc GST)

Not for sale