Silver 2019 / Science / Other

Ngc-7380 (Wizard Nebula)

  • Prizes
    Silver in Science/Other
  • Photographer
    Joel Shepherd

A star-forming region 7200 light-years distant, NGC-7380 is a star cluster surrounded by gas and dust. Like most such nebula, the cloudiness will dissipate over the next several million years, but the new stars will live much longer. Photographed from Seattle, WA over five nights in September 2018, for a total of 16 1/2 hours of exposures.

I have been an astrophotographer since 2014, when I discovered that even under the city's bright skies, patience, precision and a small telescope could extend my vision far beyond the few dozen stars apparent to the eyes. Left unchecked, within the next ten years urban light pollution will drown out all but the very brightest stars in the night sky, severing most of humanity's connection to our own galaxy and our stellar origins. My photos offer a glimpse of the beauty and wonder that is our heritage, within the Milky Way Galaxy and beyond.