Photo of the Week for July 13, 2018
The Swan Nebula, also known as M17, resides within a rich swath of summer Milky Way in northern Sagittarius. The nebula can be seen in binoculars and is a delight in a small telescope, which reveals the swan (or “check-mark”) shape readily. (The Swan is swimming upside down in this north-up shot.) In a larger instrument equipped with a narrow-band filter, some of the intricate detail and faint nebulosity shown in long-exposure photographs becomes visible.
The Swan is nicely presented in this image by Ontario astrophotographer Rick Saunders, who captured the nebula on June 13, 2018, while attending the Cherry Springs Star Party in Pennsylvania. Rick combined 9, 240-second exposures recorded at ISO 1600 with a Nikon D810A DSLR camera and an Orion 10-inch f/3.9 astrographic reflector telescope (fitted with a Baader MPCC Mark III coma corrector) for the final result shown here.