Checking the boxes for perfect framing and great processing, Brad Zazalak’s narrowband depiction of the Heart Nebula wins our Photo of the Week contest for October 8, 2021.
Zazalak captured the nebula from his backyard in Moosomin, Saskatchewan, in September 2021. He captured 10-minute exposures of Hydrogen-alpha (seven hours of data), Oxygen III (seven hours of data) and Sulphur II (6.5 hours hours of data).
He used a SBIG STF-8300 mono CCD camera on a William Optics Gran Turismo 71 apochromatic telescope with a 0.8 reducer to capture the data.
The honourable mention this week goes to Andrew Lesser for his incredibly detailed image of Sharpless 132, the Lion Nebula.
The Lion Nebula is a faint emission nebula located in Cepheus near the constellation border with Lacerta. To the left of the nebula is an orange star — RW Cephei, an orange hypergiant that is one of the largest known stars.
Lesser said the image was created with data captured across eight nights from August to September in Calgary, Alberta. “Considering all the poor night skies in those few weeks, it doesn’t seem half bad,” he joked.
He added that he tried to really tweak the traditional SHO palette to show the Lion off, with its glorious mane of yellow, orange and red.
“The blues really give it that additional pop! Blended in true colour RGB stars for good measure,” he said.
Lesser used a ZWO ASI2600MM Pro mono camera on a William Optics Gran Turismo 102 to capture the 41 hours and 39 minutes of data he used to create the image.
Every week, SkyNews publishes the best image from among those sent in by readers from all across Canada. Whether you’re an expert or a beginner at night sky photography, we’re looking for your pictures! Enter today for your chance to win a Photo of the Week title and one of our annual prizes!