The oft-overlooked HFG1 and Abell 6 pairing is an incredibly difficult image to capture — but our February 4, 2022, Photo of the Week winner Dan Kusz caught these deep-sky wonders with ease and finesse.
HFG1 is a planetary nebulae located in the northern constellation of Cassiopeia (the Seated Queen). Planetary nebulae typically last about 10,000 years and are produced by stars in their final stages of life. Our own Sun is expected to experience the same process as HFG1, but not for another five billion years.
Abell 6 is a bubble-shaped planetary nebula that remains quite faint at magnitude 15.
Dan Kusz brings us this image from Vernon, British Columbia. Captured on October 15, 2021, while using his ZWO ASI2600MM Pro camera and Sky-Watcher Esprit lens, Kusz collected whopping 43 hours of data, as he wanted to capture good detail within both targets of the image.
Kusz said he was surprised to see that Abell 6 came out to have a bit of texture in the image, which made it challenging to balance the faint details in HFG1 in comparison to the brighter Abell 6.
“This was my big project for the fall season and I am very happy and proud of the final result for this image,” he wrote.
This week’s honourable mention goes to Roger Ménard, who captured an image of IC 410. Commonly known as the “Tadpoles Nebula,” it is about 12,000 light-years away from Earth, and can be located in the constellation Auriga.
The Tadpoles Nebula is a dusty emission nebula that is about four million years old, relatively young in astronomical terms. The nebula gets its name from the dense streams of dust and gas about 10 light-years long that could be sites of star formation.
Ménard spent a total of 22 hours over five nights from November 2021 to January 2022 to capture the image from his backyard observatory in Sainte-Sophie, Quebec.
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