With a gently-coloured image of the Lion Nebula, or Sharpless 132, Kimberly Sibbald won Photo of the Week on January 15, 2021.
The Lion Nebula is a faint emission nebula located in Cepheus near the constellation border with Lacerta.
Sibbald captured the image data from Bortle 1 skies in Saskatchewan’s Grasslands National Park, shooting from August 19, 2020, to August 22, 2020. She said she used a SharpStar 140PH Triplet with reducer, on a Celestron CGEM II EQ mount, ZWO ASI1600MM Pro camera. The narrowband subs were:
- Hydrogen-alpha filter: 10 × 1,200 seconds
- Oxygen III filter: 6 × 1,200 seconds
- Sulphur II filter: 6 × 1,200 seconds
She also said she processed the image with PixInsight and Photoshop, and one of the judges noted they appreciated the effect of the stars being removed.
This gorgeous image of Yosemite National Park in California under the Milky Way garnered our honourable mention this week.
Kirby Alguire said he captured the image on April 23, 2019, but did not got around to processing the data until recently.
“There is a great sightseeing spot called ‘Tunnel View’ just after you emerge from a tunnel entering the valley through the mountains,” he wrote. “Judging from the orientation, I could see the potential of a moonstrike on El Capitan that night. So, I drove back into the park in the wee hours of the morning to capture it. In the foreground is the mighty El Capitan bathed in moonlight. Over to the right is the 188-metre Bridal Veil falls in shadow.”
Alguire said that the three brightest stars in the image are the Summer Triangle (Altair, Deneb and Vega) and The Milky Way stretching over Yosemite Valley.
To capture the image, he used a Canon 70D DSLR with 15mm fisheye lens. He combined two 20-second exposures at f/2.8 and ISO 4000 — one for the stars before the Moon rose, and one for the landscape much later when the Moon was up. Image processing was done in Photoshop.
Keep your eyes on the skies — and on the prize! In the coming months, we’ll be announcing the sponsors for the 2021-22 SkyNews Photo of the Week contest. In the meantime, you can submit your astrophotography here!