Happy New Year's!!
After my amazing Christmas Day experience, I'm starting to become addicted to super dark skies
Hence, I'm spending this New Year's weekend in Roma, QLD (5-6 hr drive west of Brisbane), and driving even further out at night.
1. Here a deep exposure of the area near Comet Lovejoy taken from Muckadilla, QLD (35 mins west of Roma):
Single 300 sec exposure at f/2.8, ISO 1600 with my Canon 5DmkII and Canon 24 mm f/1.4L II mounted on an Astrotrac Travel System. Mount was drift aligned using Orion ST80 + Starshoot Autoguider + PHD, but the exposure was unguided.
The colours are real (i.e. as recorded in camera) - the only post processing was levels adjustment, resizing, and unsharp masking for web.
2. Here's a 100% crop of the above image - from Coalsack/Crux up to Eta Carina.
Post processing was levels adjustment and cropping - no sharpening applied.
I can clearly see the comet tail (right of Coalsack) extend all the way up to Lambda Centauri Nebula. It looks like it might even have reached the Southern Pleaides and Eta Carina area, but there's not enough contrast for me to tell for sure.
3. If you're wondering why the green airglow gets picked up so strongly, or why there's no light pollution in the exposure at all, take a look at where my "dark site" is - I've marked it as a red X on the light pollution map. The big blob on the right is the greater Brisbane area.
For the record, the same aperture/ISO settings at my place in Brisbane would result in a washed out / overexposed frame in about 15 seconds
Hope everyone's post-NYE-recovery isn't too painful!