Crescent Nebula by Andrew Lesser | SkyNews
Crescent Nebula by Andrew Lesser

NGC 6888 by Andrew Lesser

Captured over ten nights in June, July and August, Andrew Lesser brings us an image of the Crescent Nebula, snagging Photo of the Week

The Photo of the Week title for December 24, 2022, goes to Andrew Lesser, who brings us this image of NGC 6888.

Crescent Nebula by Andrew Lesser | SkyNews
Crescent Nebula by Andrew Lesser

Taken from Calgary, Alberta, Lesser captured this image with an impressive exposure time of 34.5 hours between June and August 2021. Lesser captured the image using a William Optics GT102 sporting a ZWO ASI2600MM.

Lesser said he went with a “more true to the human eye palette” of Hydrogen-alpha + Hα/Oxygen III + Hα/OIII. He then blended in true colour red-green-blue stars “for good measure.”

NGC 6888, otherwise known as the Crescent Nebula, lies in the constellation of Cygnus just about 5,000 light-years away from the Solar System. At its core is a Wolf-Rayet star, a type of star that it is at the end of its lifespan and is rapidly losing mass at a high rate. The Crescent Nebula gets its distinctive brain-like shape as a result of the rapid ejection of materials.

The star at the core of the nebula is called WR 136, and scientists believe that it will eventually end its life through a stellar explosion known as a supernova. A supernova is commonly known as the last act of a dying star. It occurs when a star runs out of nuclear fuel, causing an imbalance between heat and pressure. That imbalance causes a collapse that creates an enormous explosion, often leaving behind black holes.

Honourable mention

"Christmas ornaments nebulae" by Stephan Hamel
“Christmas ornaments nebulae” by Stephan Hamel

This week’s honourable mention goes to Stephan Hamel, who captured a beautiful shot of Sh2-223 and Sh2-224.

Captured over two nights and an exposure time of 10.5 hours, Hamel notes that the image was particularly difficult to image and process. He used his ZWO 2600MC camera and Explore Scientific 80mm telescope to collect the data.

Sh2-223 and Sh2-224 are both nebulae that can be found side by side in the constellation Auriga, and Sh2-224 in particular is a remnant of a supernova. While the nebulae do not have a common name, Hamel suggested the “Christmas Ornament Nebulae,” just in time for the holidays.

Every week, SkyNews publishes the best image from among those sent in by readers from all across Canada. Whether you’re an expert or a beginner at night sky photography, we’re looking for your pictures! Enter today for your chance to win a Photo of the Week title and one of our annual prizes!

Prizes for the 2021-22 SkyNews Photo of the Week contest are sponsored by Sky-Watcher, Celestron, iOptron, The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and SkyNews. Find out more about the amazing telescopes, prize packages and gift vouchers awarded to the best photos this year.

Every week, SkyNews publishes the best image from among those sent in by readers from all across Canada. Whether you’re an expert or a beginner at night sky photography, we’re looking for your pictures! Enter today for your chance to win a Photo of the Week title and one of our annual prizes!

Prizes for the 2021-22 SkyNews Photo of the Week contest are sponsored by Sky-Watcher, Celestron, iOptron, The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and SkyNews. Find out more about the amazing telescopes, prize packages and gift vouchers awarded to the best photos this year.

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