Best astrophotos of the week: the historic PACE launch, the Pencil Nebula and more in a fresh collection!

9th Feb 2024
Best astrophotos of the week: the historic PACE launch, the Pencil Nebula and more in a fresh collection!

Step into the latest collection of the Best Astrophotos of the Week captured by enthusiastic amateur photographers on social media! This edition features the remarkable Falcon 9 launch with the PACE mission, along with the amazing views of the Pencil and Rosette Nebulas, and a myriad of other celestial wonders expertly framed by astrophotographers.

Star Cluster NGC 2244 by R. Keith Sisk

This magic astrophoto depicts NGC 2244 – an open star cluster located within the Rosette Nebula. It is a large emission nebula in the constellation Monoceros. This stellar cluster is formed by the ionization of the surrounding hydrogen gas by the brightest stars in its center. The overall scene is one of celestial beauty, with the open star cluster acting as a radiant jewel within the cosmic canvas of the Rosette Nebula.

NGC 2244

Image Credit: R. Keith Sisk

“Flamberge” by @astromarks

These nebulous clouds showcase unique play of ionized hydrogen, casting a rich, fiery glow that echoes the cosmic forces! Contrasting against the fiery embrace, the deep blue gas clouds exude an enigmatic aura.


Image Credit: @astromarks

The Rosette Nebula by Steeve Body

The Rosette Nebula needs no introduction. Its intricate filaments and pockets of gas create a captivating celestial landscape!

Rosette Nebula

Image Credit: Steeve Body

Luigi Morrone’s Pencil Nebula

The Pencil Nebula, also known as NGC 2736, is a small and faint emission nebula located in the southern constellation Vela. Why “a Pencil”? The nebula gets its name from its long and narrow appearance, resembling a pencil or filamentary structure. It is composed of ionized hydrogen gas that glows with a reddish hue due to the energetic radiation from nearby stars.

Pencil Nebula

Image Credit: Luigi Morrone

Falcon 9 launch by Brandon Berkoff

Behold history in the making! This astrophoto captures the pivotal moment as Falcon 9 launches the PACE spacecraft into a sun-synchronous orbit. Looks impressive!

Falcon 9

Image Credit: Brandon Berkoff

The sky view by Nick B. (@AstroGuy)

This view obsesses with the geometry in nature: elliptical hues of light mirroring in both the sky and the water. A mesmerizing astrophoto!

Sky View

Image Credit: @_AstroGuy_

A view over the California desert by Derek Sturman

This romantic image unfolds as multicolored clouds seemingly emerge from the majestic mountains. The scene that evokes both awe and romance.

View over the California desert

Image Credit: Derek Sturman

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