Catching the Red Planet’s spin as it made its approach to Earth, Shakeel Anwar wins Photo of the Week for November 6, 2020.
Anwar’s collection of images shows foresight. The compilation starts with an image of Mars on August 30, 2020 on the left. The series shows the planet as it spun toward its approach October 6, when the Red Planet was 62.07 million kilometres away from Earth, closer than it will be in the next 15 years.
“All four hemispheres are pictured,” Anwar wrote. “The first picture shows Sinus Meridiani and Hellas Basin in August. The last picture on the right goes back full circle, and shows the same region on the night of closest approach, however, this time with much more detail.
“The pictures were taken with a 20-year-old 8-inch Meade LX-90 in my backyard in downtown Mississauga,” he continued. “Other equipment included a ZWO ADC, 2.5× Tele Vue Powermate along with the ZWO ASI224MC camera. The images were captured using FireCapture and processed in RegiStax and Photoshop.”
Our runner up this week was Ian Barredo, with an image of the Orion Nebula.
Also known as Messier 42, this stellar nursery is about 1,300 light-years away from Earth, making it the closest large star-forming region to Earth.
Ian Barredo took this beautiful image in October from Bortle 8 skies in Regina, Saskatchewan. He said he used a ZWO ASI533 colour camera and a William Optics 103mm telescope on a Sky-Watcher AZ-EQ6 mount. Using an Optolong L eXtreme narrowband filter, he gathered five hours of exposure for the image.
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.