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Omega Centauri at East Point
February 18, 2016

The great globular cluster, Omega Centauri (NGC 5139), was spotted with 16x70 binoculars on February 18, 2016, from East Point, NJ, at 3:40 am EST, several minutes after it transited the meridian at 3:37 am. However, murky conditions above the horizon precluded a good view, and except for a couple of minutes around 3:40 am, Omega was difficult to see at all. East Point is on the northern shore of the Delaware Bay at Maurice River Cove, and the view from East Point pictured above looks due south towards the Atlantic Ocean through the dark gap between Cape May, NJ, and Lewes, DE. This image is a single frame captured at 4:00 am EST with a Canon EOS 6D digital SLR camera (on a fixed tripod) and a Canon 100 mm f/2.8L macro lens (providing a field about 20 wide x 14 high). It was exposed 4 seconds at f/3.2, ISO 6400. Omega Centauri was at 323' apparent altitude, and the peculiar galaxy Centaurus A (NGC 5128) is vaguely visible 4 above Omega. It too is visible with binoculars from East Point. Mouseover for labels. The stars Nu and Mu Centauri are a good starting point for finding Omega. They're relatively easy to spot with unaided eyes, and with binoculars from there, drop down to Upsilon 1 & 2 Cen, then drop again to Zeta Cen. Move 5 to the right, and there's Omega.

 

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Last Update: Friday, February 19, 2016 at 04:55 PM Eastern Time