Southern Cross and Coalsack nebula

The Southern Cross and Coalsack nebula were very prominently present in the Southern sky, and I miss the sight of them already!
Every evening I would point the scope to Alpha Crux in the Southern Cross as the reference star to align the mount. Alpha Crux is a double star, so it is extra convenient to be sure you are aligning on the right star.
The Coalsack nebula is the clearest dark nebula in the sky and with the excellent skies in Namibia it really ‘popped out’ of the Milky way. The contrast was excellent and at times you would think it was a real cloud passing by, a beautiful sight.

Secondary setup

I’ve already been posting several images made with the primary setup in Kiripotib, Namibia, but I’ve been using a secondary setup simultaneously next to it. The secondary setup was my Nikon D5100 with the Nikkor 80-200mm F2.8 connected to the Manfrotto ball head. The head was performing very well and could handle 10minutes exposures without any slipping in any position.
The secondary setup was also controlled with the Lacerta MGEN, so this allowed me to use dithering with the D5100 as well as the D600. This works very well and I cannot stress enough that you can use the Lacerta MGEN with Nikon camera’s and on top of that; you can control two camera’s simultaneously with the MGEN!

Southern Cross and Coalsack nebula acquisition details

Date: July 17
Location: Kiripotib, Namibia
Optics: Nikkor 80-200mm F2.8 used at 80mm F4
Mount: Fornax 51
Camera: Unmodified Nikon D5100
Guiding: Lacerta MGEN
Exposures: 33x7min ISO800

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