Andrea Girones’ capture of the faint whispering of the zodiacal light over Orion, Taurus and the Pleiades won the SkyNews judges hearts, taking the Photo of the Week title on April 15, 2022.
The zodiacal light occurs when sunlight is reflected upon the dust grains floating between planets in the Solar System. It was long thought that this dust was the leftovers of our cosmic neighbourhood’s formation some 4.5 billion years ago, but in 2021, Juno spacecraft scientists found that the grains may come from Mars’ dust storms.
Shooting from Port Albert, Ontario, on April 1, 2022, Girones used a Nikon D750 with a Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 lens set at f/3.5 to capture the 25-second exposure.
“On the lovely clear night of the April new Moon, I was setting up for a night of photography on Orion when I noticed, well, that glow in the west near where the Sun had just set,” she wrote. “I took a few test shots and sure enough, there was the triangular glow reaching up towards the Milky Way. The bare, leafless spring trees on the hilltop made for a dramatic contrast against the fading light.”
The close second this week is Rouzbeh Bidshahri’s astrophoto of the Heart Nebula.
Located in Cassiopeia, the Heart Nebula is about 7,500 light-years from Earth. NASA states that at the heart of the nebula is a massive star-making factory, marked by the giant bubbles that were blown into surrounding dust by radiation and winds from the stars.
Bidshahri captured the widefield narrowband image from their backyard in West Vancouver, British Columbia.
Every week, SkyNews publishes the best image from among those sent in by readers from all across Canada. Whether you’re an expert or a beginner at night sky photography, we’re looking for your pictures! Enter today for your chance to win a Photo of the Week title and one of our annual prizes!