Winners Announcement of 2023 Optolong Deep-Sky Astrophotography Competition 

source:Optolongpopularity:1519Release Time:2024-01-29

Winners Announcement of 2023 Optolong Deep-Sky Astrophotography Competition 

--- Shape the unknown universe and share your experience ---


2023 Optolong Deep-Sky Astrophotography Competition came to a conclusion successful.

We were very happy to received 751 pieces of works in total from the contest; through senior astrophotographers and judges serious selection, the winners went to 6 persons of 1st, 2nd, 3rd prizes for DeepSky Category, and 3 persons of 1st, 2nd, 3rd prizes for SolarSystem Category; and 2 talented outstanding award for DeepSky category.

Senior astrophotographers are invited to be the judges for the contest, they are:  Dr.Ron BrecherWarren A. KellerLuca FornaciariChristoph Lichtblau, and Tommaso Massimo Stella.

We would like to thank all judges who carefully judges each work.

It's our great honor to announce the result of the contest. Congratulations to all prize winners!!!



►Prize-winner for DeepSky Category 


►The 1st. Prize - Photo No. 377

DeepSky: No. 377 Along the Taurus Molecular Cloud (Sh2-238 & Sh2-239) + Yuexiao Shen + China

Photo Number:377
Category:Deep Sky Category
Photographer:Yuexiao Shen 
Photo Tittle and Target:Along the Taurus Molecular Cloud (Sh2-238 & Sh2-239)
Equipment used:
Mount: Astro-Physics 1100GTO
Telescope: Takahashi Epsilon E160-ED
Camera: QHY600m
Focuser: Moonlite CRL 2.5
Filter: Chroma  LRGB
Data sheet:L: 170*5 min, bin1 (mode 3)
R: 65*5 min, bin1 (mode 3)
G: 50*5 min, bin1 (mode 3)
B: 50*5 min, bin1 (mode 3)
Photo Date and place :West Texas, USA, 11/2023
Processing method:Pixinsight+Photoshop+RC plug-in



Ron Brecher:

"This image shows the Taurus molecular cloud. Not only does it highlight the densest brown dust, but also the fainter parts of the cloud. This image shows nice sharp details with an overall smoothness, and natural-looking stars."




►The 2nd Prize Two Winners


The 2nd Prize Photo No. 583

DeepSky:  No. 583 Wolf Cave(VDB152) + Yaguang Wan + China

Photo Number:583
Category:Deep Sky Category
Photographer:Yaguang Wan
Photo Tittle and Target:Wolf Cave(VDB152)
Equipment used:Takahashi Epsilon 160;QHYCCD QHY600PH;Sky-Watcher EQ8
Data sheet:Ha: 131×600″(21h 50′)
Blue: 62×300″(5h 10′)
Green: 61×300″(5h 5′)
Lum: 231×300″(19h 15′)
Red: 58×300″(4h 50′)
Photo Date and place:Daocheng County, Sichuan Province,China
Processing method:Pixinsight,PS
Description:Vdb 152, also known as Barnard 175, is a dark nebula located in the constellation of Cygnus, approximately 1400 light-years from Earth. In post-processing, I employed a new technique to further enhance the Ha emission of the subject and background. This approach added depth and a layered quality to the image, bringing out the nebula's intricate details and emphasizing its distinct presence against the cosmic backdrop.



Christoph Lichtblau :

"Maybe the best version of this stunning but difficult target I have ever seen. The long exposure time with the fast telescope has fully paid out with incredible details and colors."






The 2nd Prize Photo No. 581

DeepSky:  No. 581 Shark Nebula + LiLingMing + China
Photo Number:581
 Category:Deep Sky Category
Photo Tittle and Target:Shark Nebula    
Photo Date and place :Chengde, China    
Equipment used:EQ6R,Sky-Watcher Quattro 250P / 10-S,astroasis,
Data sheet:L:32.58h,RGB:31.16h    
The image took more than a month to capture, composed of three shots to encompass the entire target. LDN 1235 is known as the Shark Nebula. The Shark Nebula is a faint cloud in the constellation Cepheus composed of interstellar gas and dust. The darker dusty region in the upper left corner is LDN 1235, the densest part of the dust cloud. The bright blue reflection nebula at the top of the image is VdB 150, and the blue reflection nebula at the bottom is VdB 149. Both of these beautiful reflection nebulae shine with the colors of very hot B8IV stars within these nebulous regions. This dust cloud is located approximately 650 light-years away. "    
Processing method: PI



Luca Fornaciari:
“A shot of extraordinary depth that describes the colours, shapes and details of the Shark Nebula, a cloud of cosmic dust with reflection zones and distant galaxies in the background. Taking a photograph of this type requires good skies, excellent use of astronomical instrumentation and patient dedication to deep sky astrophotography, which requires many hours of acquisition to capture the details of exciting cosmic panoramas. ”







►The 3rd Prize Three Winners


The 3rd Prize Photo No. 159

DeepSky:  No. 159  Superiority, IC 1396 – The Elephant trunk nebula + Carl Gough + England (UK)

Photo Number:159
- Your name and your country – Carl Gough, England (UK)
- Imaging title and target – Superiority, IC 1396 – The Elephant trunk nebula
- Equipment used and the technical card :
Orion RC 8",Skywatcher EQ6-r,Altair Astro 26m
Optolong L.R.G.B 36mm filters,Altair 70mm guide scope,ZWO ASI 224mc guide camera,Sesto Senso auto focuser,Integration: Gain 100, Offset 32
83 X hydrogen alpha @ 600sec sexp,51x Oxygen 3 @ 600sec exp
43x Sulphur 2 @ 600sec exp
- Imaging date and place - Imaged from my Bortle 5 backgarden in west Sussex over several nights. 04/09/23 - 26/09/23
- Briefly describe your photo story, digital processing methods employed (if any) This is an image of IC 1396 aka the Elephant Trunk nebula, deliberately framed in a way Ive always seen it. The trunk in itself being a prize to the person holding it, and the dark structures resembling people still desperate to reach the prize. Hence the winner standing 
tall and dominant in his success and lording it over those that have failed.

Warren A. Keller :

"I couldn’t be more in love with this image. Everything just works for me! I love the color palette and the composition. I find it very striking. From a technical perspective, everything was done meticulously well. Bravo!"






The 3rd Prize Photo No. 304

DeepSky:  No. 304  Lambda Centauri (Running chicken Nebula) + Nik Axaris + Australia

Photo Number:304
Deep Sky Category
- Your name and your country :Nik Axaris  
Melbourne Australia
Image title: Lambda Centauri (Running chicken Nebula)
Equipment used: 
Telescope: TS-Optics Photoline 130 f7 with riccardi 0.7 reducer
Camera: ZWO ASI 294mc Pro, Guide camera ZWO120mm
Mount: Skywatcher NEq6 pro belt modded
Filter: Optolong L-Extreme
Acquired with ASIAIR Pro
This was taken earlier this year in our Bortle 6 back yard in Melbourne 
over 2 nights 600 second exposures for a total of 9 hours
Combined and stacked with Astropixel Processor, extracted the HA then used the HA as a luminance layer in pixinsight. 
Then finalised in Photoshop.

Ron Brecher:

"This image presents the Running Chicken Nebula in a very different light. With bold blues and golds, this photo reveals the faint gas surrounding the main nebula. The stars are nice and tight, and the image has just the right balance of detail and smoothness."






The 3rd Prize Photo No. 395

DeepSky:  No. 395 Thors Lightning  + Nicolas MARTINO + France 

Photo Number:395
Deep Sky Category
- Your name and your country :Nicolas MARTINO,France
Image title: Thors Lightning
Equipment used: 
Scopes : Takahashi’s FSQ-85EDX + Takahashi’s FSQ-106
Cameras: ZWO ASI 2400MC + 2600MM Pro 
Mount: Sky-Watcher EQ6-R Pro
Filters:  Optolong L_Ultimate + Antlia OIII 3nm
Softwares : PixInsight, PhotoShop and Siril.
The total integration of this picture is 46h15 :
- 22h25 RGB with single exposure of 5min (269x300s)
- 13h50 H-Alpha with single exposure of 10min (83x600s)
- 10h00 OIII with single exposure of 10min (60x600s
- Imaging date and place :  Diverse locations have been needed, from North to South of France from October 2022 to January 2023, accumulating around 3000km.
February and March 2023 have been necessary to process the pictures. 

Christoph Lichtblau:

"An not often seen region with an awesome combination of emission and dark nebulae. Perfectly matched in point of color and structure."





►Talented Prize Two Winners


Talented Prize -- Photo No. 337

DeepSky: No.337 The Cosmic Bat – LDN 43 + Logan Carpenter + New Zealand

Photo Number:337
Deep Sky Category
- Your name and your country :Logan Carpenter, New Zealand
Image title: The Cosmic Bat – LDN 43
Equipment used: 
Telescope: SkyWatcher Esprit 120ED
Camera: ASI2600mmPro
Filters: Baader LRGB filters
Mount: iOptron CEM120
Total integration 31hrs 42 mins  LRGB
Imaging date: 24th March 2023  Backyard, Auckland, New Zealand
LDN43 is a fascinating and somewhat menacing target closely resembling a bat swooping through ,the cosmos searching for it’s prey.
Processed in Pixinsight and Photoshop, dark nebulae are always a challenge to process.






Talented Prize -- Photo No. 456

DeepSky: No.456 VdB152 The Capercaillie Nebula + José García Moreno + Spain

Photo Number:456
Deep Sky Category
- Your name and your country :José García Moreno. Spain 
Image title: VdB152 The Capercaillie Nebula
Equipment used: 
Technical data: 
Equipament: Sky-Watcher EQ6-R. Sky-Watcher ED80 Pro Series Evostar. 
ZWO ASI294MC Pro. Optolong UV/IR cut 2": 325x120"
Total integration: 10h 50′
Image taken on 08/21/2023 and 08/22/2023 in Moratalla, Murcia, Spain. 
In the region of Cepheus, approximately 1400 light-years away, lies a breathtaking expanse of molecular clouds, reflection nebulae, and hydrogen-rich regions. Among them stands the prominent nebula, resembling the majestic profile of a capercaillie, from which it derives its name. This captivating photograph is the result of two sessions totaling 
10 hours, captured against the backdrop of the Moratalla and Inazares skies.







►Prize-winner for SolarSystem Category 


►The 1st Prize  One Winner

SolarSystem: Photo No. 28  The big Coronal Mass Ejections + Mehmet Ergün +Germany

Photo Number:28
Photo Tittle and Target:The big Coronal Mass Ejections
Photographer:Mehmet Ergün
Photo Date and place :05/27/2023, Traisen, Germany
Equipment used:SharpStar 121SDQ, DERF, IMX432MM, Daystar Gemini, RST-135         
On May 27, 2023, I had the incredible opportunity to observe the sun "live" through the NASA website.
In that moment, I witnessed an exceptionally large solar eruption taking place. Within a few minutes, I hastily set up my equipment. 
It didn't take long, but I managed to capture this gigantic solar mass ejection on camera. 
It was extraordinarily vast, multiple times the size of our Earth. It was a truly awe-inspiring and emotional experience, bringing me closer to the magnificent spectacle of the universe.
Processing method: Software: Sharpcap, Autostakkert, Registax, PS, LR
Exif: Gain 20 / 1600 Frame / best 20% Stack   



Tommaso Massimo Stella:

"excellent processing of both solar mass eruption and disk granularity.  well-balanced and contrasted colors to highlight the well-defined protuberances."






►The 2nd Prize  One Winner

SolarSystem: Photo No. 56 火龙与金凤(太阳色球层)+ 杨洋 + China 

Photo Number/作品编号:56
Photo Tittle and Target/作品主题和目标:火龙与金凤(太阳色球层)
Photo Date and place /拍摄时间/地点:2023年10月29日  江苏省盐城市大丰区Equipment used/拍摄器材:skyrover102edAPO+daystar quark Ha 4.3x+zwo asi174mm+zwo am7
Data sheet/拍摄参数:录视频31秒,格式raw16,曝光10ms,增益60,录制2038帧
Processing method/处理方式: AutoStakkert3叠加2000帧,imppg初步锐化、反相,Adobe Photoshop 2022上色、调色、调整细节等,registax8适当锐化、降噪、转换格式



Luca Fornaciari:
“As the author points out: photographing the sun is difficult. This type of photography requires a lot of dedication and the perseverance to carry out numerous attempts, not only to improve one's shooting skills, but also in the hope of capturing the perfect moment with little turbulence and in general atmospheric conditions that allow one to record excellent details. With a good shot and careful processing, the reward is the possibility of presenting a one-of-a-kind image that describes and represents shapes and details of our star: the Sun.”






►The 3rd Prize  One Winner

SolarSystem: Photo No. 67 Solar System in high resolution + Gabriele D'Orazio, Rome(italy)

Photo Number:67
-Your name and your country:Gabriele D'Orazio, Rome(italy)
-Imaging title and target:Solar System in high resolution
-Equipment used and the technical card:
Telescope: Skywatcher Dobson 16 "goto, Celestron C11
Camera: Zwo ASI 462mc, Qhy5III178m (Venus and Moon),Zwo ADC,Barlow Baader q 2.25x,Filters: Ir block  + W47, ir pass 801nm (Venus), Green filter (Moon), Ir pass 650nm (Uranus)
Software:Sharpcap Autostakkert 3 Iris,Astro surface Winjupos Photoshop
- Imaging date and place
2023/10/20 Rome(Italy)
- Briefly describe your photo story, digital processing methods employed (if any):

This is a composition of some of the best planetary images I collected during the last year. It is a fantastic journey through the our Solar System.I used two different telescopes and two cameras, a mono camera for the Moon, Uranus and Venus with filters that allows me to highlighted the polar cap of Uranus and the fantastic clouds on Venus and a color camera to Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune.



Warren A. Keller:

"All of the objects are very well done. Nice acquisition and processing. An interesting presentation too!"




Congrats again, Dear all winners! 

Thank all of you to join us, thank you for excellent works, thank you for coming! The prizes will be dispatched very soon ~





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