Ghubra Bowl Star Party, November 1999
North Oman, between Nakhl and Awabi

The Ras al Hamra Astronomy Section had a star party at the Ghubra Bowl in November 1999.
Here are some photos I took of the Milky Way. Exposure 15mins @ f/2.8 with a Tamron 14mm lens on Fujicolor 800.
Milky Way from Ghubra Bowl, Oman
For orientation I have put labels on some of the stars below. The massive shadows on the bottom of the photos are the surrounding mountains, hence the name Ghubra "Bowl".
Milky Way from the Ghubra Bowl, Oman

I then spent some time looking for the North America Nebula. Even though the telescope was pointing in the right direction (It's a go-to scope) I could not make out a thing. So I decided to see if I can capture it on film anyway. Lo and behold! It's the red nebula to the left of Deneb, with that distinctive shape of North America and the Gulf of Mexico. 15mins with a Canon EOS 100mm Macro (yes!) lens at f/2.8. Same Fuji 800 film. Actually there is a lot of nebulosity in the entire area and the "Gulf of Mexico" is in fact defined by a dark nebula in between the North America, on the left, and the Pelican on its right. Sorry, but I cannot imagine any pelican there, can you? OK, if you know exactly what it should look like, and exactly where, then you can ;-)

North America Nebula

I also tried to photograph the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) with the same lens and exposure but I am unable to make it out on the negative, even though it was easily visible through binoculars, and even by naked eye. Must have been pointing inaccuracy. Will have to try harder next time!

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