Cat’s Paw and Lobster Nebulas by Sam Berrada
Cat's Paw and Lobster Nebulas (Sam Berrada)

Cat’s Paw and Lobster Nebulas by Sam Berrada

One image, two nebulas get top marks from the judges.

Sam Berrada’s photo was really the cat’s meow (or the lobster’s claw) this week. Taken in Hacienda los Andes in Chile, Berrada captured the Cat’s Paw Nebula and Lobster — or War and Peace — Nebula on March 18, 2017.

Berrada used a Borg 107 at 650mm F6 and Canon 6DH to grab the shot with 20 exposures at 300 seconds each, and our judges thought he “really made the dark nebula pop off the background.”

Berrada said that such objects are very low in the sky in Montreal, where he lives, so when he went to Chile he planned to take images of objects that would be difficult or impossible to take from Canada.

Cat’s Paw and Lobster Nebulas (Sam Berrada)

He added he had previously tried to take an image of the Cat’s Paw from Montreal.

“As you can imagine, the results were not very good because of the atmospheric effect when an object is so low in the sky,” he said. “In Chile, I had the privilege of imaging these objects in a super dark sky (SDM 21.8) while they were high in the sky within the full splendour of the southern Milky Way.”

Berrada also noted that capturing this picture gave him a new perspective.

“Imaging these objects made me realize how fortunate we are to live in this century, with the ability to travel to such far away locations, and to use imaging instruments and technologies which we could not have imagined a few decades ago,” he said. “Imagine what a few more decades will reserve for all of us!”