Auriga Wide Field by Ron Brecher

Photo of the Week for December 20, 2019


After some humming and hawing and a good debate, the winner of the December 20, 2019 Photo of the Week was Ron Brecher with his wide field image of Auriga.

Brecher said he has never shot the constellation in such a wide field format before, nor with a one shot colour camera.

“I definitely achieved what I was aiming for here,” he wrote in an email. “This wide-field image shows the extended clouds of nebulosity in Auriga, the Charioteer, along with several open clusters. There are even some galaxies hiding in this busy field. “

Brecher also included an annotated image for more information.

As for the specs of the image, Brecher said he used a Takahashi FSQ-106 ED IV at f/3.6, QHY367C one-shot colour camera, and Optolong L-eNhance narrowband filter, Paramount MX, unguided.

“Acquisition, and focusing with TheSkyX,” he wrote. “Focus with Optec DirectSync focus motor and controller. Automation with CCDCommander. Equipment control with PrimaLuce Labs Eagle 3 Pro computer. All pre-processing and processing in PixInsight. Acquired from my SkyShed in Guelph. Variable moon, average to above average transparency and fair to average seeing. Data acquired October 28 – November 20, 2019.” 

He also provided substantial detailing in his own web post on data reduction and cleanup, colour and lightness, and processing.

The photo was by far the most clear, crisp, complex and certainly well-documented of all the pictures submitted over the past week.

That said, we judges did not all agree the winner was as clear. A contender — and a photo we mention honourably — was Raphaël Dubuc’s image of the Andromeda Galaxy and M31.

One of the judges liked the composition — it is a pretty picture! — though it was noted by another that the colours are a bit overdone and there is some star trailing or rotation.

That said, the photo sparked a good debate among the judges about the merits of aesthetics and technical excellence. “Sometimes it’s the kid with a string on a stick that catches a better fish than the compleat angler,” one judge said.

This note is being added to this post because it serves as a reminder that we appreciate all photos submitted, whether with state-of-the-art equipment or even a simple phone camera. It can take years of knowledge and practice to hone one’s abilities in astrophotography, but we all start somewhere.

Click here to see more Photos of the Week.

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Categories: Photo of the Week
3 comments on “Auriga Wide Field by Ron Brecher
  1. Emile Cormier says:

    If you’d like to continue receiving free images from amateur astronomers who work hard to obtain them, perhaps you should refrain from publishing negative critiques in public: “though it was noted by another that the colours are a bit overdone and there is some star trailing or rotation”.

    You should be encouraging submitters, not publicly critiquing them.

    • Allendria Brunjes says:

      Thank you for your comments. We will keep it in mind. The goal wasn’t to critique but simply to share. The photo was indeed a contender to be the winner because we liked it, and it is honourably mentioned.

  2. Emile Cormier says:

    I’d like to also point out that if you only judge a photo by how “crisp” it appears, you’ll end-up favoring only the wide field views. Narrower fields of view are more challenging and should judged accordingly. It’s nice to see smaller planetary nebulae and galaxies thrown into the mix. 🙂

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