Collecting the data over eight nights from his backyard, Andrew Lesser’s image of the Tulip Nebula wins our Photo of the Week title for July 23, 2021.
Also known as Sh2-101, the Tulip Nebula is an is located in the constellation Cygnus. It is a Hydrogen II emission nebula about 6,000 light-years away from Earth.
One of the judges noted that Lesser managed to capture supernova remnant shockwave — the nebulosity with a different shade of blue above the Tulip’s top “petal.” The reddish star to the right of the remnant is the companion star to the black hole Cygnus X-1.
Lesser said he imaged over eight nights from June 6 to July 9, 2021, from his backyard in Calgary, Alberta. He combined data using the SHO palatte and RGB data for stars. Total integration time was 27 hours and 47 minutes.
To collect the data, he used a William Optics GT102 APO telescope with a ZWO ASI2600MM Pro. The focal length was 711mm.
Our honourable mention this week goes to Andrea Girones for her image of the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex, imaged from Bortle 3 skies in Port Albert, Ontario, on July 9, 2021.
“I shot this from the family cottage close to the lake where I could track it until it dipped into Lake Ontario,” she wrote. “Even though it had been cloudy for most of the holiday, the astrogods gave me a stunningly clear night around the new Moon of July 9.”
Shooting with a ZWO ASI2600MC and a Redcat 51 telescope (f/4.9), Girones captured 48 120-second exposures for a total of 1.5 hours of data. The image was stacked, calibrated and processed in Pixinsight and Photoshop.
“There were many ways to go with the processing, so much yellow star dust glow around Antares, the small red nebula, the many blue reflection nebulae and dark dust lanes,” she wrote. “I could stare at this one all day!”
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.