The Running Man nebula sprints into the spotlight in this spectacular night sky photo.
Astrophotographer Dave Larkin took this image in November 2012 from his home in Australia using the Slooh Space Camera's robotic 20-inch telescope located on the Canary Islands off the northwest coast of Africa. The Slooh Space Camera is an online night sky observing service that allows users to view the sky using telescopes around the world.
"What makes images so special from Slooh is the fact that I am in Australia using an online robotic telescope on the other side of the globe live from the Northern Hemisphere, and to also be able to process the data from the camera into an image from the comfort of my living room is just awesome," Larkin said in an email.
The Running Man nebula, also known as NGC 1977, is located in the Orion constellation and lies roughly 1,500 light years from Earth. A light-year is the distance light travels in one year, or about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers).
Larkin produced this image using data called Fits Files, which are the raw data straight from the CCD camera attached to the Canary Islands telescope. Larkin aligned, stacked and processed the Fits Files with imaging software on his computer.
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