A pretty scene caught with a bit of luck won our Photo of the Week on May 6, 2022, with Roger Ménard’s capture of noctilucent clouds near Venus, Jupiter and the Moon.
Ménard said that while he was vacationing in Florida, I woke up early on April 27, 2022, to capture the Venus-Jupiter-Moon conjunction at 5:54 a.m. EDT; he said Mars and Saturn were going to rise before the Sun, too, and were to be visible just above the ocean horizon.
“A diffuse glow in the northeast appeared at about 5:30 a.m., and by 5:45 a.m. it became a bright and crisp noctilucent cloud,” he wrote. “I did not think it was possible to see those NLCs from such a low latitude (26 degrees) and at this time of the year. But there it was and it was quite a sight!”
He said the only photographic equipment he had at hand was his cell phone — a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra which he put in photography “Night Mode.” Shooting from Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, he located a post with a flat top at the edge of a beach and secured his hold of the phone, knowing this would be a long exposure.
“I later learned that a Space X launch had taken place approximately an hour earlier, about 300 kilometres north of my location, leaving water vapour in the mesosphere and contributing to the creation of this beautiful NLC,” he wrote.
Our honourable mention this week goes to Daniel Beaulieu for his image of Messier 101, the Pinwheel Galaxy.
Located 25 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Ursa Major, the Pinwheel Galaxy nearly twice the diameter of the Milky Way at 170,000 light-years across and is estimated to contain at least one trillion stars.
Shooting from his backyard on April 5 and 22, 2022, in Québec City, Beaulieu used a Celestron EdgeHD 800 on a Sky-Watcher EQ6-R Pro with a QHY268M PH (monochrome) CMOS camera to capture the data for the image. Total exposure time was six hours and 33 minutes, with data being collected with luminance, red, green and blue filters.
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.