“It’s a different approach to processing, but it is well done,” said one of our judges handing in a vote for Kimberly Sibbald’s image of IC 405, which wins Photo of the Week on February 12, 2021.
Also known as the Flaming Star Nebula, IC 405 is an emission and reflection nebula located in Auriga. The bright star AE Aurigae casts light, which is reflected to us by surrounding dust. The nebula is about 1,500 light-years away from Earth and spans about five light years.
This the data for this narrowband version of IC 405 was captured over the course of 15 hours:
- Hydrogen-alpha: 16 frames × 1,200 seconds (totalling five hours and 20 minutes)
- Oxygen III: 4 frames × 1,200 seconds (totalling one hour and 20 minutes)
- Sulphur II: 13 frames × 1,200 seconds (totalling four hours and 20 minutes)
To capture the data, Sibbald used a SharpStar 140PH Triplet (focal length 910mm), a Mesu 200 MKII mount, a ZWO ASI1600MM Pro camera and Antlia narrowband filters in Hα, OIII and SII.
“Sibbald’s IC 405 has a lot of merit, especially in the clear separation of Hα and OIII data,” a judge remarked. “Typical images of this tend to have to OIII as just a smudge.”
Our honourable mention this week goes to Andrea Girones’ image of NGC 1333.
NGC 1333 is a reflection nebula located in the constellation Perseus, a stellar nursery 1,000 light-years away from Earth. The region contains hundreds of stars less than a million years old, most still hidden from optical telescopes by stardust.
Using a Celestron C11 with a HyperStar (focal length 540mm) and a ZWO ASI533MC Pro, Girones managed to capture this image of the nebula with just 100 minutes of data. She collected the data from Ottawa, Ontario, on January 8, 2021.
“The dark nebula pops well,” noted one of the judges.
Keep your eyes on the skies — and on the prize! 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.