Happy Holidays

Dear friends of The Lonely Photon,

It’s finally Christmas, the most beautiful and exciting time of the year, and we want to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and all the best with your projects for the new year!

Thank you all for your support! Here’s a gigantic Christmas Tree-shaped cloud of hydrogen for you 🙂

This is a re-work of the Christmas Tree complex, using new processing techniques that I recently learned. Find more details here: Christmas Tree Complex

And speaking about re-works, here are two winter jewels that I also recently revisited: the Horsehead Nebula and the Orion Nebula, two iconic nebulas in the constellation Orion, the Hunter.

The Horsehead Nebula

The nebula takes its name from the thick, dark lines of dust in the centre of the image, shaped like a horse’s head. The dark nebula is embedded in a vast cloud of ionised hydrogen gas (NGC 2023), whose red glue provides perfect contrast to the image. On the left is the Flame Nebula (NGC2024), an emission nebula about 900 to 1,500 light-years away.

Read more here: Horsehead Nebula

Orion Nebula

This is a stunning, picturesque stellar nursery: a cloud of interstellar gas and dust from which new stars are born. In fact, this is the closest large star-forming region to Earth, about 1,350 light years away. Its central region hosts four massive stars known as The Trapezium – a young open cluster that illuminates the nebula.

Read more here: Orion Nebula


These, instead, are some incredible pictures of Mars (including Mars at opposition on December 8th) taken by friend and fellow astronomer Pascal Hilkens.

Take a look at his fantastic blog, it’s rich of content and amazing pictures. You can find it here: https://pascalhilkensastropage.blogspot.com/

To conclude, let me show you some pictures of the winter Sun taken this mount.

Visit the full solar gallery: The Sun

Clear skies!