It was a tight race this week, but with its defined spirals and beautiful colour balance, Raphaël Dubuc’s capture of the Milky Way’s neighbour, the Andromeda Galaxy, is our Photo of the Week for October 23, 2020.
Also known as Messier 31, the Andromeda Galaxy is 2.5 million light-years away, one of the farthest things objects visible with the naked eye. Tucked in beside Andromeda are Messier 32 (the bright glow just above the centre) and Messier 110 (to the bottom left). M32 is a dwarf “early-type” galaxy, and M110 is a dwarf elliptical galaxy — and both are satellite galaxies of Andromeda.
Dubuc won the judges hearts with his image’s well-done stars and his skill in bringing out the hydrogen-alpha regions.
Shooting on October 11, 2020, from Saint-Georges-de-Windsor, Quebec, Dubuc said he used a modified Canon 6D and a 500mm Skywatcher Equinox (f/6.25) to capture three hours of exposures (with each sub being three minutes, 30 seconds).
With a touch of optimism, Dubuc said he hoped there would be a day when humanity could visit another star system — and perhaps, in a very distant future, even the Andromeda Galaxy.
“The world is constantly evolution in technology and science,” he wrote. “We just a have to continue to working together.”
Our honourable mention this week goes to Jason Dain for his image of the Iris Nebula.
Dain caught the nebula in 14 hours of exposures, shooting from Stillwater Lake, Nova Scotia on October 13, 2020. He said he used a Nikon D7200 and a Sky-Watcher Esprit 100 ED APO (f/5.5)
“Once the Moon was down enough to start broadband imaging this month, the first target on my list was the Iris Nebula,” he wrote. “After spending a lot of time on H-alpha targets, I was looking for a new challenge. I spent two evenings capturing a total of 153 300-second images using my Esprit 100 refractor. I pre-processed and processed the image using PixInsight.”
Prizes for the 2020-21 SkyNews Photo of the Week contest are sponsored by Sky-Watcher, Celestron, iOptron and The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Click here for more details on the prize packages that will be awarded to the best photos this year.