Glittering like a disco ball, Abdur Anwar’s image of the Orion Nebula dazzled our judges and snagged the Photo of the Week title on January 7, 2022.
Messier 42, more commonly known as the “Orion Nebula,” is a stellar nursery with around 700 stars being born inside it. The nebula is located about 1,300 light-years away from Earth, making it the closest large star-forming region to Earth.
The Orion Nebula is often observable with the naked eye as it has a relatively bright apparent magnitude of 4. Because of the nebula being easily spotted, it has been linked to many cultures throughout human history, including the Mayans’ culture of likening the Orion Nebula to a cosmic fire of creation.
Abdur Anwar brings us this image from Cochrane, Alberta. Captured on December 24, 2021, Anwar used an unmodified Fuji XT2 mirrorless camera along with his Orion eight-inch f/3.9 reflector telescope to photograph the nebula.
This week’s honourable mention goes to Dan Kusz, who captured a stunning shot of NGC 1499, a nebula located 1,000 light-years away from Earth.
The nebula is commonly referred to as the California Nebula due to its general shape that shares a resemblance with the state of California in the United States of America. The California Nebula is classified as an emission nebula, which is a type of nebula that generates light internally rather than reflecting light from somewhere else.
Due to low surface brightness, the nebula is somewhat difficult to observe. Dan Kusz captured this image of the California Nebula on October 6, 2021, from Vernon, British Columbia, with an exposure time of 11.5 hours. Using his ZWO ASI2600MM Pro camera in conjunction with his Sky-Watcher Esprit 80, he highlighted the data collected through the Oxygen III filter using the HOO colour palette, giving the image a stunning contrast of red and blue.
“I decided to go with HOO only and not include Sulphur II signal as the beautiful red and blue contrast each other very well,” he wrote. “The OIII signal extends quite far from the Ha signal and almost looks as if it reflecting the blue light from the star ξ Per.”
Kusz fittingly named the photo “Mist over California.”
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.