Stuart Heggie produced this example image of Messier 106 using the RASC Robotic Telescope data provided in this contest. | SkyNews
Stuart Heggie produced this example image of Messier 106 using the RASC Robotic Telescope data provided in this contest.

SkyNews image editing contest: March/April 2022

Download our free data of the spiral galaxy Messier 106 and create your own version of the Universe.

Using the few gaps between clouds on moonless nights over the past month, the RASC Robotic Telescope team has collected the data of the SkyNews Astroimage Editing Contest’s target: the spiral galaxy Messier 106.

Stuart Heggie produced this example image of Messier 106 using the RASC Robotic Telescope data provided in this contest. | SkyNews
Stuart Heggie produced this example image of Messier 106 using the RASC Robotic Telescope data provided in this contest.

Found in Canes Venatici near Ursa Minor, NASA states that this galaxy is about 24 million light-years from Earth. It was discovered by Charles Messier’s observing assistant, Pierre Méchain, in 1781.

A sky chart showing Messier 106's location in the sky. | SkyNews
(Allendria Brunjes/Stellarium)

The telescope

Located near Auberry, California, The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s Robotic Telescope is a 16-inch, f/8.9 RCOS with a SBIG STX-16803 camera on a Paramount ME mount. It has seven filters: LRGB, Hydrogen-alpha, Oxygen III and Sulphur II. A Canon 6D — used to capture larger targets — is piggy-backed on the scope, sporting a 200mm f/2.8 lens.

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of our Photo of the Week contest, SkyNews is buying time on the telescope, using it to gather amazing data and sharing it with our readers for free.

Each month, we are releasing data packages for one deep-sky object. Process the data, send it back to us and you’ll be entered into our astrophoto editing contest for the month. Our judges will choose the image that wins a SkyNews prize pack, including access to RASC Robotic Telescope data for the year.

The rules

To be eligible, submissions must be received by April 30, 2022. One entry per person. A team of judges will choose the best submission and SkyNews will publish the winning image.

To enter, you can fill out the entry form on the SkyNews website, or you can send your image by e-mail to photo+edit@skynews.ca. Be sure to include your name, contact information and the processing details.

There are no entry fees. This contest is open to residents of Canada only.

The data

The data was released on March 18, 2022. You have until April 30, 2022 to download it, edit it and enter the edited image in our contest.

The prize

The prize for the winner of the astroimage editing contest. | SkyNews
SkyNews prize pack

Each month, SkyNews will be giving the winner a prize package that includes: access to RASC Robotic Telescope data for the year, as well as some essential stargazing tools — a one-year gift subscription to SkyNews (to use or to give to a friend), a SkyNews folding chair, a SkyNews backpack and a SkyNews red light keychain.

The value of the prize pack is about $200.

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