Steve Leonard’s
Steve Leonard’s "The Wizard Nebula."

The Wizard Nebula, by Steve Leonard

Steve Leonard won Photo of the Week for the period of Dec. 31, 2022 to Jan. 6, 2023.

Steve Leonard’s “The Wizard Nebula” won Photo of the Week for the period of Dec. 31, 2022 to Jan. 6, 2023. 

Steve Leonard’s "The Wizard Nebula." | SkyNews
Steve Leonard’s “The Wizard Nebula.”

“I think that I speak for all astrophotographers when I say that it often feels like magic to capture deep space wonders like this from our backyards,” he wrote in his submission letter. 

“The Wizard Nebula is emblematic of this magical feeling that we all share. This almost starless version, with only a single star in the Wizard’s eye, shows the beautiful interplay between the different hydrogen, oxygen, and sulphur gases in the nebula as the Wizard casts a spell in deep space.”

Image data was taken on Aug. 2, 2022, and again on Aug.6, 2022, in Markham, Ontario, using an ASI1600MM Pro with an Astro Tech AT115EDT lens. Exposure time was 21 hours. 

“This is a great SHO narrowband image,” said the judges. “Processing is producing vibrant and nicely saturated colours while leaving the finer details visible. This image has a nice artistic touch with the starless rendering and leaving one star intact — the ‘eye’ of the wizard.”

Honourable Mention

Richard Veregin’s "Crescent Nebula NGC 6888." | SkyNews
Richard Veregin’s “Crescent Nebula NGC 6888.”

Richard Veregin’s “Crescent Nebula NGC 6888” received an honourable mention for the same period. 

“The Crescent Nebula (NGC 6888) is an emission nebula about 5,000 light-years away. The central star, which created and excites this nebulosity with its ultraviolet light, is an incredibly luminous blue supergiant — the Wolf-Rayet star WR 136,” he wrote in his submission letter. 

“I love the wonderful chaotic fingers, known as Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities, which are a result of the star shedding mass at high velocities into previously ejected and slower moving material,” he added.

The image was taken with a ZWO ASI2600MC Pro Cooled camera and Celestron C925/Starizona reducer. It was taken over 14 nights, from May to September 2022 in Mississauga, Ontario, at Bortle 8.

“This is another really well done starless image,” said the judges. “It is a nice frame-filling image with a 3D effect over the background, [although] the processing is a bit overdone.”

Readers can submit their Photo of the Week here.

And/or submit a photo for our SkyNews columnist to review in the magazine.