Amateur Astronomer


The Telegraph (U.K.) published an image gallery featuring Astronomy Photograph of the Year Martin Pugh, who happens to be an amateur.


A few words from the photographer: ‘An extremely popular imaging target, it was an absolute “must do” for me. My objective was to produce a high-quality, high-resolution image, blending in Hydrogen-Alpha data to enhance the nebulosity. If I could change something about this photograph I would expand the frame to include the Flame Nebula, and then expand it further to pick up the Great Orion Nebula to create a superlative wide-field vista of this region.’

What’s in the picture: The Horsehead Nebula, is a dark cloud of gas and dust. The gas, dust and other materials condense to form dense knots, which will eventually become stars and planets. New stars have already formed inside part of the dust cloud, as can be seen on the bottom left.

Equipment: SBIG STL11000 CCD camera guided with adaptive optics; 12.5-inch RC Optical Systems Ritchey-Chrétien telescope; Software Bisque Paramount ME mount; 19 hours of exposures

What competition judge Chris Lintott thought: ‘I think this is the perfect deep-sky image; perfectly composed, it grabs your attention straight away. When you look closer, the detail is absolutely stunning, whether it’s the fine structure in the curtain behind the horse or the subtle details on the edge of the dark nebula itself.’

Check out the others on Flickr. Good stuff.

One Comment

  • Roy Wisneski says:

    when i was a kid i was very interested in astronomy. these days i have a telescope at home.: