This is a 5 month timelapse of Hubble’s variable nebula. Pretty astonishing innit! And a testament to the power of us AMATEURs when we band together. Well done BAT members. This makes me very proud.

https://video.wixstatic.com/video/9429d3_e26eb9d8a1f245cf8274cc383cfde87c/1080p/mp4/file.mp4

The video squeezes 5 months of the nebula’s life into a few seconds. Those ripples are moving at the speed of light away from the star which is embedded in the bright pointy bit of the nebula. If you look very closely you can see something mysterious. A moving, filament shaped, dark cloud on the upper rim near the star. We think the dark cloud is actually a vast shadow from a smaller dust cloud passing close to the pulsating baby star. I explain – with the help of Dr Chapman – what we think is going on here. Annoyingly the shadow vanished a few weeks after we started filming in October 2021 (FYI the reason the shadow jumps is bc the timelapse is looped). Now we will have to wait until October when this nebula emerges from behind the sun to see if any new shadows have appeared. Hopefully we’ll see many more and MUCH bigger shadows next season. We were a bit unlucky this year tbh. Not only were there no big shadows but we also had to contend with the worst year for astroing in Europe that anyone can remember. Even so we did manage to get the thing that’s REALLY hard to get – the light ripples. I think this is an astonishing achievement and a taste of the power of our Big Amateur Telescope. Imagine how good it’ll be next year now that we’ve had the practice. By the way if you are pretty good at astrophotography and want to help us in this quest please come and join Big Amateur Telescope (aka the BAT). Sign up here:

I’d particularly like to single out @MrCrazyPhysicist#0992 for running the show in the last few months and @HatManDew#7289 for getting the ball rolling so expertly in the Autumn. I am also especially grateful to mladen, hnau, poptart, TheCyberBrick, reglogge, SpaceKadet, elSchabe, T3kko, @joelkuiper, The BAT Man, Astro1tu, Astrokonst, Aris, Space_Madness for contributing data.. And thank you to all the imagers and processors who I’ve missed out (I’m sure there’ll be one or two) . And thanks to all members of BIG AMATEUR TELESCOPE.
Heads up this season is coming to an end but the BAT will be making a big come back in August.