Elephant's Trunk Nebula by Dan Kusz
Elephant's Trunk Nebula by Dan Kusz

IC 1396 by Dan Kusz

Captured over 13.5 hours, the winner for January 14, 2022, Dan Kusz, brings us a look at the Elephant’s Trunk Nebula

Captured over 13.5 hours, the Photo of the Week winner for January 14, 2022, Dan Kusz, brings us a stunningly captured and edited look at the Elephant’s Trunk Nebula.

Elephant's Trunk Nebula by Dan Kusz
Elephant’s Trunk Nebula by Dan Kusz

IC1396 is a large and faint emission nebula located 2,400 light-years away in the constellation Cepheus. The nebula gets its name due to the variety of shapes that can be observed within it, which also includes an elephant’s “trunk,” visible in the lower half of Kusz’s image.

The Elephant’s Trunk Nebula is home to over 250 young stars, with some being very young (less than 100,000 years old) and two being older (a couple million years old, but still young) stars. An interaction between light from the massive star ionizing and compressing the rim of the cloud, combined with the wind from young stars shifting gas from the centre outwards leads to high compression in the nebula. This interaction triggered the creation of the current generation of protostars.

Dan Kusz brings us this image from Vernon, British Columbia. He used his ZWO ASI2600MM Pro camera along with his Sky-Watcher Esprit 80 telescope to capture a total of 13.5 hours of data. Kusz spent three separate nights in October 2021 gathering Hydrogen-alpha, Oxygen III and red, green and blue data to complete the image.

Honourable mention

Aurora borealis by Siv Heang Tav | SkyNews
Aurora borealis by Siv Heang Tav

This week’s honourable mention goes to Siv Heang Tav, who captured a beautiful shot of aurora borealis over the skyline of downtown Calgary, Alberta.

Aurora borealis, commonly referred to as the northern lights, is a result of energized particles from the Sun that are re-directed by Earth’s magnetic field within the upper atmosphere. The interaction between the particles and Earth’s magnetic field creates a phenomenon that has captivated the eyes of humans for millennia.

Heang Tav captured this image of the aurora borealis on November 4, 2021, using her Nikon D810 camera along with a Nikkor 50mm lens.  

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!

Prizes for the 2021-22 SkyNews Photo of the Week contest are sponsored by Sky-Watcher, Celestron, iOptron, The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and SkyNews. Find out more about the amazing telescopes, prize packages and gift vouchers awarded to the best photos this year.

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