A dust-strewn starscape wins Insight photography award

Shooting under a dark sky at the Tivoli Southern Sky Guest Farm in Namibia, Italian photographer Mario Cogo opened his camera’s shutter for six hours to capture the CrA Molecular Complex, a vast area in Corona Australis. Visible in Cogo’s stunning image are the reflection nebulae NGC 6726-27-29, a dark dust cloud known as Bernes 157 and the globular cluster NGC 6723. The dust complex is about 500 light years from Earth while the globular cluster shines at a distance of 30,000 light years. Cogo’s image won first place in the “Stars and Nebulae” category of the 2018 Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition organised by the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

Equipment: Takahashi FSQ 106 ED telescope, Astro-Physics 1200 GTO mount, Canon EOS 6D Cooling CDS Mod camera, 530-mm f/5 lens, ISO 1600, total 6-hours exposure.

Corona Australis Dust Complex. Image: Mario Gogo