Our Photo of the Week winner on April 23, 2021, is Randy Halushka for his image of the dark nebula LDN 1251.
Located about 1,000 light-years away, LDN 1251 is a star-forming cloud in the Cepheus region.
Shooting from an acreage northwest of Lloydminster, Alberta, Halushka said he captured this image over a couple nights, December 5 and December 6, 2020. He said he used a Celestron C11 Hyperstar (f/2.0) and a ZWO ASI2600MC. Each of his subs collected one-minute of data.
“I had nice transparent skies and chose the best 85 images for this composition,” he said. “This is my first time trying this target, and it is a challenging object to bring out all the faint dusty expanse. I love the colours that are in this image, and I am very happy how it turned out.”
Our honourable mention this week goes to Andrew Lesser for his image of LBN 576.
Also known as Supernova Remnant CTB 1, the nebula lies about 10,000 light-years away from Earth. Scientists believe the nebula’s origins stem from and explosion that also created the nearby pulsar PSR J0002+6216. “Supernova explosions don’t have perfect symmetry, and the pulsar likely received a natal kick that sent it tearing away from its birthplace at tremendous speeds, causing it to eventually overtake the expanding shell of gas and dust,” writes Susanna Kohler in AAS Nova.
Shooting with a ZWO ASI2600MC Pro and a William Optics Gran Turismo 102 (focal length 563mm), Lesser gathered about 41.8 hours of data from Bortle 6-7 skies in Calgary, Alberta. He captured data March 11, March 13-14, March 17-18, and March 21, 2021.
“This was a tough one to capture, located low in the northern sky this time of year,” he wrote. “The processing on these faint objects can also be very challenging!”
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.