There is no shortage of incredible space out photos to be found online, and thanks to a stunning image of a space “jellyfish”, that point was recently proven once again. The depths of outer space are almost impossible to fathom. Within our own tiny solar system are many alien planets, tons of asteroids, and the big, mighty Sun that sustains life on Earth. And that’s just the solar system! Beyond lies the rest of the Milky Way galaxy. On an even grander scale is the entire universe and the billions of galaxies that reside within it.
While much of the universe remains mysterious and unexplored, talented humans are constantly working to uncover as much of it as possible. Just a few days ago, NASA shared a stunning Hubble photo of a small star throwing a “stellar tantrum.” The Perseverance Mars rover also captured a “flower” casually trailing on the Martian surface. And it’s not just NASA doing all the work. Last December, photographer Andrew McCarthy shared an incredibly detailed image of the Sun, revealing its iconic orange/yellow color and powerful flares shooting out from its surface.
Seeking to further showcase the talent of freelance photographers, Reddit user u/MrJackDog recently shared a trio of amazing space objects they found with their telescope. The first (seen above) shows a huge collection of cosmic gas and dust floating around in space. Not only are the blue and red colors remarkable, but the shape of the object makes it look like a jellyfish! The large head is seen upwards, as are the slender legs below.
More photos of a ‘squid’ and a ‘dolphin’ from space
But a jellyfish is not the only thing u/MrJackDog capture. They also shared the two photos above of a “squid” and “dolphin” space. The space squid is seen on the left and is quite unmistakable. In the middle of a beautiful red sea is the squid’s transparent body, including its pointed head and long body below. The dolphin is in the rightmost photo. Some users have commented that the dolphin looks more like a shrimp than anything else. No matter what it looks like to you, there’s no denying that it’s a jaw-dropping shot anyway.
In their now viral post on the r/Space subreddit, u/MrJackDog says they found these “cosmic sea creatures” after searching for them every clear winter night. They dove a little deeper into the capture process in a comment, saying: “Each of these photographs was taken using a 4″ refractor telescope and narrowband filters to target the specific emission wavelengths of the hydrogen alpha and oxygen iii ions present in the nebulae. I captured them from my yard outside of Charlottesville, Virginia between November and February. .”
Apart from the three items requiring a lot of time to find, it also seems that the capture process was no less tedious. u/MrJackDog describes all of their imaging and editing equipment in another comment. At the heart of the setup are a ZWO ASI2600MM-Pro camera and an Esprit100ED telescope. Combined with all their other equipment, u/MrJackDog indicates that the total configuration costs around $5,000 to $6,000. And you know what? The results are more than worth it. Astrophotography at this level is anything but easy, but when it’s done right, it’s really done, really good.
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