Three nebulae, as seen from ELTHAM College’s Observatory

ELTHAM College’s revamped observatory opened in May 2019, and has since provided students with the opportunity to look to the stars and explore their curiosity.

One such young person who has utilised the Observatory is Year 11 student Orlando Yen, who captured this striking image of three distinct nebulae: the Flame Nebula in the centre of the image, NGC 2023 directly below, and the Horsehead Nebula towards the bottom-left of the image.

Orlando writes: “The Flame Nebula is a crowded star forming region near Orion’s belt, 1400 light-years away. As it is an active star-forming region, there are many bright neutron stars with a blue tinge surrounding it. The nebula’s suggestive reddish colour is due to the glow of hydrogen atoms. The Horsehead Nebula is a small dark nebula located 1400 light-years from earth in the same region as the bright emission nebular NGC 2023. The dark reddish colour of the Horsehead Nebula is also due to the large amount of hydrogen in the nebula. NGC 2023 is an emission and reflection nebula, and is one of the largest and brightest reflection nebula in our night sky.”

ELTHAM College Observatory hosts an 11-inch Celestron RASA telescope, which uses a true colour camera to ‘see’ the actual colours of the night sky. These colours were later balanced and intensified by Orlando during image processing. The telescope has a wide field of view, with the ability to capture multiple large portions of the night sky and produce beautiful skyscapes like this one.



ELTHAM College prides itself on a culture of excellence and creativity. A collaborative environment helps teachers focus on uncovering students’ […]

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