Athletes from around the world are gathering this week to compete in the most difficult events of their careers at the Tokyo Olympics. You don’t need to be an Olympic athlete to find a challenge, though. In honor of the international competition, we’re asking Unistellar users all over the world to join us in finding a few extra-elusive deep sky objects. Put your skills to the test — and be sure to tell us if you successfully observed them all!
The Hidden Galaxy (IC 342)
This relatively close galactic neighbor is veiled by the interstellar gas and dust of our Milky Way Galaxy, making it a harder challenge than usual. If this galaxy was located elsewhere, it would be one of the brightest galaxies in our night sky!
Helix Nebula (NGC 7293)
Although this is the closest nebula to Earth, located about 650 light-years away, the many colors of this planetary nebula can be somewhat difficult to capture. The Helix Nebula is sometimes called the “Eye of Sauron” for its similar appearance.
Cocoon Nebula (IC 5146)
Inside the protective shell of the Cocoon Nebula, young stars emerge from a cloud of dust and gas. This deep-sky sight can be found near the constellation of Cygnus, at the tip of the dark nebula Barnard 168.
Crescent Nebula (NGC 6888)
This emission nebula is created by the solar wind from a massive, dying star slamming into a dispersed cloud of gas. Found in the constellation Cygnus, the Crescent Nebula is around 25 light-years across.
Eager for more challenges?
Consider joining a citizen science campaign as you stargaze this week. Learn more about how you can contribute to Planetary Defense, or seek out asteroid occultations and exoplanet transits from your own backyard.
We encourage you to share your observations and join the conversation through our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages using the hashtag #UnistellarChallenge!
If you’d like to send us your observations by email, send them to email@example.com.
Clear skies! 🔭