Best Astrophotos Of July’s First Week: Iris Nebula, Swan Nebula, And More! [28th June – 5th July]

7th Jul 2024
Best Astrophotos Of July’s First Week: Iris Nebula, Swan Nebula, And More! [28th June – 5th July]

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best astrophotos capturing the celestial wonders from the end of June to the beginning of July. During this period, astrophotographers had a great opportunity to witness fascinating space objects, telling a unique story of our universe’s beauty: the Iris nebula, the Swan nebula, the comet 13P/Olbers, so on.

Just like the previous ones, this selection is made of the most impressive images from astrophotographers on social media who kindly agreed to share them with us.

Iris Nebula By Derek Foster

Here is the first best astrophoto capturing the Iris nebula, also known as NGC 7023. This is a bright reflection nebula located in the constellation Cepheus. This celestial object gets its name from its striking resemblance to the iris of an eye when viewed through a telescope.

“Iris Nebula in LRGB, first real image test with @QHYCCD. 268m 2CMS mode 5 with gain 0.”Iris Nebula in LRGB, first real image test with @QHYCCD. 268m 2CMS mode 5 with gain 0,” that author has commented on his photo.

Iris Nebula in LRGB
Credit: @DerekFoster

Comet 13P/Olbers By David Blanchard

The next astrophoto depicts the Comet 13P/Olbers. It was first discovered by German astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers on 6th March, 1815. This comet follows an elliptical orbit around the Sun, with a period of about 69 years. One of the notable features of Comet Olbers is its periodic return to the inner solar system, where it becomes visible from Earth during certain favorable circumstances. David Blanchard was lucky to take advantage of one of these circumstances.

“Clear skies last night gave me an opportunity to shoot Comet 13P/Olbers. Nikon D750, 200mm, f/5.6, ISO 800, 16x60sec images; aligned for stars,” he has shared on his X.

Comet 13P/Olbers
Credit: @dblanchard_AZ via X

The Horsehead And Flame Nebula By Eric CIOLI

The Horsehead Nebula and the Flame Nebula are two distinct but closely associated nebulae located in the constellation Orion. They both are part of the larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, a region of active star formation where young stars are born within dense molecular clouds of gas and dust.

“The Horsehead and Flame Nebula photos from 01/29/2023 and 02/03/2024,” the photographer has written.

Horsehead and Flame
Credit: @nunux1971 via X

Moonscape Overlook By Joel Greenblatt

“Moonscape Overlook full 180. Starscape pano. Canon 5D IV astro. Mod. Sigma Art 14mm. f/2.8. 6 x 60 sec. ISO 1000. Stacked. Astronomik H-alpha 12nm MaxFR. f/2.8. 3 x 120 sec. ISO 6400. Stacked. Landscape pano. taken during blue hour. “Ken Burns” effect made with PZPIC,” Joel Greenblatt has commented on his Facebook.

Moonscape Overlook
Credit: Joel Greenblatt via Facebook /

The Eagle Nebula With The Pillars Of Creation By Ken Brassard

“Here’s my best attempt at M16, The Eagle Nebula with the Pillars of Creation.
This is a very difficult target from my location.
It only reaches an altitude of 34° in the first few days of July each year, then begins getting lower until it’s below the horizon in less than a week.
At that low altitude, I have to capture through a lot of turbulent atmosphere, and the target is directly over the city of Lynn, with its extreme light pollution.
With all these issues with this target, It’s very difficult to pull out true colors and details.
To add to my problem, my darks and dark flats had an undetected light leak, rendering them useless for calibration.
And, as long as I was down, then my gear might as well kick me a little by losing connection with the scope for the last 125×5 second subs.
(This happens sometimes when using the SynScan USB adapter for mount control)
The session was automatic, so I wasn’t monitoring it and was unable to restart the connection.
I found out in the morning when I reviewed the session logs.
Due to a number of factors, only 500 subs out of 2000 survived.
I’m pleased with the result, but I was hoping for even more,” Ken Brassard has shared on his Facebook.

“M16, The Eagle Nebula with the Pillars of Creation
Distance 7,000 light years away
Orion Xt10g goto Dobsonian Alt/Azimuth
ZWO 294 MC
ZWO EAF focuser
OCAL Autocollimator
L-Ultimate narrowband filter.
Nexus 0.75x Focal Reducer and Coma Corrector
500×5 second subs @ 300 Gain
50 Flats
50 Dark Flats
30 Darks
Captured with NINA
Processed with APP, BlurXTerminator, NoiseXterminator, Narrowband Normalization, GraXpert, Photoshop.
Bortle 7-8
Seeing: Average.”

The Eagle Nebula With The Pillars Of Creation
Credit: Ken Brassard via Facebook

Rho Ophiuchi By Rod Prazeres Astrophotography

“Rho Ophiuchi is one of the most colorful regions in the night sky, located near the constellation Ophiuchus. This celestial wonder showcases a stunning array of dark clouds, bright reflection nebulae, and vivid emission nebulae,” the author has told about his image.

Rho Ophiuchi By Rod Prazeres Astrophotography
Credit: @DeepSkyJourney via X

Omega M17 By Ján Gajdoš

Last but not least, the delicate Swan Nebula.

“Omega (also known as the Swan Nebula, Horseshoe, Lobster Nebula, Messier 17, M 17, NGC 6618) is an H II region in the constellation Sagittarius. It was discovered by Jean-Philippe de Chéseaux in 1745. The Omega Nebula is a region where new stars are formed and it shines with excited emission caused by the high-energy radiation of young stars,” the author has told about his artwork.

“The name Omega comes from John Herschel, who thought its shape resembled the Greek letter omega. Its total brightness is 7.0 mag, making it visible even with a field binocular. In the sky, it measures 46′ by 37′ and its distance is estimated to be 3,260 light-years. Its mass is estimated to be about 500 times that of the Sun. Omega is also a source of infrared and radio radiation, and it is one of the brightest sources in the sky at radio wavelengths. The gas in the nebula is illuminated by a hot star with a magnitude of 8.9 and spectral type A05e. Like the Great Orion Nebula, Omega is a very active star-forming region. New stars are formed in the depths of dark clouds of dust and gas.”

Omega M17
Credit: Ján Gajdoš via Facebook

Thank you to all the photographers who shared their amazing images for our best astrophotos of the week list! We greatly appreciate your dedication and passion for astrophotography and wish you clear skies for your future captures!

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