Messier 82, edited by Ian Barredo (data from RASC Robotic Telescope)

The best of Messier 82

The winner of the August 2020 RASC Robotic Telescope image editing contest is Ian Barredo, producing a clear and beautifully coloured composition of Messier 82.

With beautiful colouring and sparkling stars, Ian Barredo’s composition of Messier 82 has won the August 2020 edition of the RASC Robotic Telescope editing contest.

Messier 82, edited by Ian Barredo (data from RASC Robotic Telescope)

August’s image was Messier 82, also known as NGC 3034 or the Cigar Galaxy.  According to NASA, the magnificent starburst galaxy sees young stars that are being born in its centre 10 times faster than they are inside our entire Milky Way Galaxy. This creates a huge concentration of young stars and a fierce galactic superwind.

Using the RASC Robotic Telescope files of M82 in HaLRGB, Barredo said he stacked and calibrated the image in Astro Pixel Processor. He said individual stacks of Ha, L, R, G and B were combined using the HaLRGB tool in Astro Pixel Processor.

He worked on background neutralization and star colour calibration, and he adjusted the final curves and saturation in Adobe Photoshop.

September 2020’s target

This month, the RASC RTScope editing contest target is the Helix Nebula, or NGC 7293.

Located about 650 light-years away in the constellation of Aquarius, NASA writes that the nebula is a typical example of a class of objects called planetary nebulae. Planetary nebulae develop from the remains of stars that once looked like our Sun — shedding gaseous layers, they leave behind a tiny, hot, dense white dwarf core that lights up the surrounding gases.

How to enter

To be eligible, submissions must be received by September 30, 2020. One entry per person. The RASC Robotic Telescope team will choose the best submission and publish the winning image. There are no entry fees.

To enter, send your image by e-mail to photo+rtscope@skynews.ca. Be sure to include your name, contact information, and the processing details.

This contest is open to residents of Canada only.

The files

You’ve read the rules and you’re all set to go. The files are available on Google Drive. Read more here.