Shakeel Anwar’s crisp and clear image of Jupiter makes it look like the planet was carved with a knife and painted by a delicate brush — and it takes the Photo of the Week title on August 20, 2021.
Shooting from Mississauga, Ontario, on August 5, 2021, Anwar used a ZWO ASI224MC and a Celestron C11 XLT to capture five 90-second exposures and stacked them to create the image.
“As we approach opposition later in August 2021, here is an image of Jupiter with three of its Galilean moons in orbit (from left Ganymede, Io and Europa),” Anwar wrote. “The Great Red Spot is setting on the lower right with considerable cloud turbulence in its wake.”
Anwar also said the image was taken on a night with heavy dew. The telescope was newly acquired and there was not yet a proper dew heater for it.
“[I] had to use a blow dryer to continually remove the dew between pictures,” Anwar wrote. “This unfortunately woke up my neighbour, who came out on his balcony as he couldn’t fathom who would be blow drying their hair, in the backyard, multiple times no less, at 1 a.m. in the morning. Luckily for him, I ran out of hard drive space, but was able to capture enough data to compile the above image.”
Our honourable mention this week goes to Dan Kusz for his image of the North America Nebula in HOO.
Using a ZWO ASI1600MM Pro and a Skywatcher Esprit 80 (f/5.0), Kusz captured 14 hours and 20 minutes of data (59 exposures of 600 seconds on July 5 and 6, 2021, in Hydrogen-alpha; 27 exposures of 600 seconds each on July 7, 2021, in Oxygen III) from Vernon, British Columbia, in early July.
The North America Nebula, NGC 7000, is a large emission nebula located in the constellation Cygnus, close to Deneb. A study from 2020 shows that the nebula, along with its neighbour the Pelican Nebula, is located about 2,590 light-years away from our Solar System.
“This version is strictly an HOO version as this was the only data I was able to capture,” Kusz wrote. “I was able to get three nights when the wind co-operated and blew the forest fire smoke away from the city. I have never seen so many clear nights, over 40 now, ruined by smoke. With fires still burning and the skies filled once again with smoke, I decided to process this image with the data I had acquired.”
Kusz said the processing came out with a final image that seemed fitting to the situation.
“I processed the image focusing on contrast of light and dark nebula to give the image an impression of smoke. I have well-defined, structured nebulosity surrounded by softer smoke-like nebulosity. It may be more of an artistic approach to the commonly imaged target, given the data I had. I am very pleased with the results.”
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 more here on the amazing telescopes, prize packages and gift vouchers awarded to the best photos this year.