Move over JWST, make room for the SZDT!

Now that I’ve completed my series discussing JWST images, I figure it’s time to share an image of my own. But first, to be very clear, the last five posts were images from NASA. They weren’t mine. I received several comments that made it sound like people thought the JWST images were mine. Nope.

Today’s post is a different story. This image is all mine! Yep, this image is from the Steve Zigler Driveway Telescope, which I affectionately call the SZDT. And it really was captured with my camera on my telescope perched on my driveway in East Tennessee. It’s a far cry from the JWST images. No big surprise there, but it blows my mind the quality of images that are possible with meager equipment from light polluted locations. To be clear, images like this are real. The objects in this image are real. I had some comments questioning if images like this are real. Yes, images from both the JWST and the SZDT are real. If I can create images like this, so can you! The possibilities await anyone with the desire to tackle this type of imaging.

Let’s talk about this image. First, I think it’s beautiful! I love the colors and textures. The spherical object in the lower left is called the Jellyfish Nebula. It’s near the constellation Gemini. The twins. I think it looks more like a tadpole than a Jellyfish, but they didn’t consult me on the name. You can see that the nebula has a shell structure. This is because we’re looking at the remnants of a star that ended in a supernova explosion. The star was much larger than our Sun and the supernova occurred a long time ago, scattering star debris and dust in all directions to create the spherical shape. Near the center of the nebula is a neutron star: the corpse of the dead star.

The field of view of this image is quite large. Even from this distance, the Jellyfish Nebula occupies almost twice the amount of sky as a full Moon. Impressive when you consider how close the Moon is and how far the Jellyfish is! I don’t know the name of the other nebulosity in this image. I don’t know if it is a gazillion miles from the Jellyfish Nebula, or if it just looks that way. Your guess is as good as mine!

The Jellyfish Nebula photographed by the Steve Zigler Driveway Telescope (SZDT)

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