It may not be finished yet, but Chris Parfett’s image of the galaxies Messier 81 and Messier 82 checked all the boxes for our judges, who named the picture our Photo of the Week on June 18, 2021.
Johann Elert Bode discovered Messier 81 (right, also known as Bode’s Galaxy), and its companion Messier 82 (left, also known as the Cigar Galaxy), in 1774. Both are located about 12 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Ursa Major.
Shooting from Bittern Lake, Alberta, Parfett used a ZWO ASI294MM and a ZWO ASI294MC Pro, along with a William Optics Gran Turismo 102 (f/6.9) telescope. To produce the image, Parfett has captured 14 hours and 53 minutes of data over three nights — so far.
“These two galaxies have a gravitation lock on one another, and you will find Integrated Flux Nebula between them,” Parfett wrote. “I don’t have enough time on these two yet to bring the IFN out, but that will be next winter’s project.”
Dan Falk captured our runner up this week — an image of the partially eclipsed Sun rising over the Toronto skyline on June 10, 2021.
Shooting from Colonel Samuel Smith Park in Toronto, Falk said he used a Pentax K-1 with a 70-210mm lens. Aperture was set to f/7.1, ISO 200 and shutter speed 1/1250. He also noted he shot the image from the shore of Lake Ontario, west of the city.