Ian Barredo’s image of Messier 51 won our Photo of the Week on May 7, 2021, with its lively feeling and very strong 3D sense.
Also known as the Whirlpool Galaxy, the grand-design spiral galaxy’s smaller yellow companion, NGC 5195, has been passing by for hundreds of millions of years. Some astronomers believe the close encounter has tugged at the Whirlpool’s arms, triggering tidal forces and new star formation.
Barredo said he shot this image using separate filters for luminance, Hα, red, green and blue. The total integration time was 25 hours, taken from April 18-24, 2021, from Regina, Saskatchewan.
He said he used a William Optics 103mm (f/5.5), a ZWO 183 monochrome on a Sky-Watcher AZEQ6 mount.
Colin Chatfield got our honourable mention this week with his crystal-clear image of the northern lights over Anglin Lake, Saskatchewan.
Chatfield said he caught this panorama of the aurora on September 21, 2018. He said he used a Canon 7D MKII sporting a Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 lens at 11mm, and captured a 10-second exposure.
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.