Skywatcher Photo Catches Cosmic 'Tadpoles' in Celestial Pond
Bill Snyder snapped this image of the tadpoles of nebula IC 410 from his home observatory in Connellsville Pa., on Jan. 15, 2012. The tadpoles in this photo are around 10 light-years long and are potential sites of star formation.
Credit: Bill Snyder

From his home observatory in Connellsville, Pa., avid astrophotographer Bill Snyder took this stunning photo of the so-called "tadpoles" of the emission nebula IC410 on Jan. 15. IC410 is located roughly 12,000 light-years away toward the constellation Auriga.

The tadpoles in this image are actually about 10 light-years long and are potential sites of star formation. A light-year is the distance light travels in one year, or about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers).

The nebula itself surrounds the young cluster of stars called NGC 1893. This cluster energizes the denser, cooler gas making up the tadpoles. Their unique shape is sculpted by wind and radiation from the cluster stars.

Snyder used a TMB130mm telescope equipped with an Apogee U8300 camera, as well as a mount and several filters to create this view of IC410. He had a total exposure time of more than 14 hours to capture this view of the nebula.

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