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Chalk One Up for the Little Guys -- Three Amateur Astronomers Make a Major Discovery of a Never-Before-Seen Filamentary Emission Nebula – How Did They Do It?

Posted by Guy Pirro 01/12/2024 10:16PM

Chalk One Up for the Little Guys -- Three Amateur Astronomers Make a Major Discovery of a Never-Before-Seen Filamentary Emission Nebula – How Did They Do It?

With hundreds of major observatories worldwide surveying the sky and extremely high-tech camera-equipped space telescopes zipping around the Solar System, one could expect that there's nothing left in space for an amateur astronomer to discover. Yet in 2022 three creative amateur astronomers/astrophotographers made a remarkable find in one of the most observed and photographed areas of the night sky – the Andromeda Galaxy. Marcel Drechsler, Xavier Strottner, and Yann Sainty discovered and photographed a never-before-seen oxygen [O III] emission arc next to our nearest spiral galaxy. The hours of hard work put in by these passionate amateurs earned them the top prize in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2023 competition, the world’s biggest space photography competition. It also earned them a place in the history books as the discoverers of a new filamentary emission nebula -- the Strottner-Drechsler-Sainty Object 1 (SDSO-1)… The amazing thing is that all of this was accomplished with an off-the-shelf 4-inch Takahashi refractor, an Oxygen-III (OIII) filter, and a lot of creativity and hard work.


Comments:

Thanks to Richard Johnson for finding this fascinating news item.