It’s another example of the amazing astrophotography Canada is producing — Martin Desrochers’ beautiful image of the Rosette Nebula won the Photo of the Week on March 12, 2021.
Also known as NGC 2237, the Rosette Nebula is located about 5,000 light-years away from Earth. The nebula is a Hydrogen II region in Monoceros, and is closely associated with the star cluster NGC 2244.
Shooting from Saint-Thomas, Quebec, Desrochers used a ZWO ASI294MM Pro and an Astro-Tech AT65EDQ Quadruplet 65mm refractor (f/6.5) to capture 23 hours and 30 minutes of data for this image. He also used a NEQ6 Pro mount with a Rowan belt.
Desrochers said he captured the data over the nights of January 30 and 31, and February 4, 6, 8 and 11, 2021.
He used Chroma 3nm-31mm filters, unmounted, and processed the image in SHO using the following:
- Hydrogen-alpha : 55 subs × 600 seconds, for a total of nine hours, 10 minutes
- Oxygen III: 46 subs × 600 seconds, for a total of seven hours, 40 minutes
- Sulphur II: 40 subs × 600 seconds, for a total of six hours, 40 minutes
Our honourable mention this week goes to Stuart Heggie for his crisp image of the Veil Nebula.
“You need the best conditions to observe it,” he noted. “Using a wide-angle telescope at low power will show NGC 6992. Despite its overall brightness of about magnitude 5, this object is only visible to the naked eye under exceptionally good viewing conditions, because its light is distributed over the object’s large size.”
Using an Astro-Physics 155 EDF telescope (f/7.1) with a four-inch field flattener and Focus Boss II motorized focuser, along with a Moravian G4 camera sporting a full set of Gen II Astrodon filters, Heggie gathered a whopping 67 hours of data from Lucknow, Ontario, in July and August 2020 for this beautiful image. The data was gathered as follows:
- 50 subs × 20 minutes each in Hα
- 51 subs × 20 minutes each in OIII
- 53 subs × 20 minutes each in SII
- 32 subs × 10 minutes each of red, green and blue
- Total exposure time: 51 hours, 20 minutes in narrowband + 16 hours RGB = 67 hours
Heggie said he used a Paramount MX guided with a Borg 60mm achromat and SBIG ST402ME riding piggyback. He also said the images were acquired with CCD Commander and TheSkyX. Image reduction and mosaic assembly was completed in PixInsight, and additional tweaks were done in Photoshop CC 2020.
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.