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The university professor turned his camera to the night sky to take breathtaking images of space


An amateur astrophotographer and university lecturer has revealed the stunning images of space he captured during the lockdown – from his backyard.

Russell Discombe, 32, has always loved taking photos of the cosmos, but was able to focus on the subject during the lockdown. The enthusiast turned his attention to the sky – and said he was overjoyed with the results.

Russell, of Cirencester, Gloucestershire, bought a star tracker and telescope to locate the "deep sky" objects – some up to 50 million light years away.

Then he took everything he discovered with a special astrophotography camera – and produced some incredible pictures.

Pictured: the elephant's trunk nebula captured by Russell Discombe from his garden during the lockdown. Named for its shape, the Elephant Trunk Nebula is located in the constellation Cepheus, approximately 2,400 light-years from Earth. It is believed to be a star formation site that contains very young stars less than 100,000 years old, while it is believed that there are two older stars of a few million years in the circular cave at the top of the picture

Pictured: The Heart Nebula, around 7,500 light years from Earth, is located in the Perseus arm of the galaxy in the constellation Cassiopeia. Its color - often thought of as deep red - is caused by the radiation emanating from a small cluster of stars near the center of the nebula

Pictured: The Heart Nebula, around 7,500 light years from Earth, is located in the Perseus arm of the galaxy in the constellation Cassiopeia. Its color – often thought of as deep red – is caused by the radiation emanating from a small cluster of stars near the center of the nebula

Pictured: Bode's Galaxie, or Messier 81, is a great-designed spiral located about 12 million light-years from Earth and 90,000 light-years across - about half the size of the Milky Way. It has been extensively studied by astronomers after it was first discovered by Johann Elert Bode in 1774 and nicknamed it

Pictured: Bode's Galaxie, or Messier 81, is a great-designed spiral located about 12 million light-years from Earth and 90,000 light-years across – about half the size of the Milky Way. It has been extensively studied by astronomers after it was first discovered by Johann Elert Bode in 1774 and nicknamed it

Pictured: Russell Discombe and his telescope at his home in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, from where he has photographed objects of deep skies - some up to 50 million light years away. Then he used a special astrophotography camera to record everything he discovered

Pictured: Russell Discombe and his telescope at his home in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, from where he has photographed objects of deep skies – some up to 50 million light years away. Then he used a special astrophotography camera to record everything he discovered

Russell said, “I've always loved astrophotography, but most of my images have been wide-angle landscapes of the Milky Way.

“I bought my first star tracker just before the lockdown and the lockdown gave me the perfect opportunity to learn how it works and spend some time in the garden photographing objects with deep skies.

“I started taking photos with my normal camera equipment and a cheap star tracker.

Pictured: The Bubble Nebula, also known as NGC 7635, is located in an emission nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia. The "bubble effect" shown in Discombe's photo is created by the stellar wind of a massive young central star, which makes it glow as shown above

Pictured: The Bubble Nebula, also known as NGC 7635, is located in an emission nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia. The "bubble effect" shown in Discombe's photo is created by the stellar wind of a massive young central star, which makes it glow as shown above

Pictured: Melotte 15, the & # 39; heart & # 39; of the heart nebula. The cluster contains some bright stars that are almost 50 times the mass of our Sun, as well as many other smaller stars that are only a fraction of the solar mass

Pictured: Melotte 15, the & # 39; heart & # 39; of the heart nebula. The cluster contains some bright stars that are almost 50 times the mass of our Sun, as well as many other smaller stars that are only a fraction of the solar mass

Pictured: Orion and the Running Man Nebula (or SH2-279). The nebula is located in the Orion constellation and is in the northeastern part known as Orion's sword. It is approximately 1,500 light years from Earth

Pictured: Orion and the Running Man Nebula (or SH2-279). The nebula is located in the Orion constellation and is in the northeastern part known as Orion's sword. It is approximately 1,500 light years from Earth

“I was immediately enthusiastic and decided to invest in a telescope, a larger star tracker and an astro camera.

“The photos I've taken range from nebulae like the Orion Nebula, the Elephant Trunk Nebula, and the Heart Nebula to other galaxies like the Bode and Cigar Galaxy and the Needle Galaxy.

& # 39; Some of these galaxies are 30 to 50 million light years away.

“The night sky fascinates me and it is always amazing to see something and create an image that we cannot see with our eyes.

"It still puzzles me that the light that leaves some objects and hits my camera lens left the galaxy 30-500 million years ago."

Pictured: The Needle Galaxy, known as NGC 4565, is a spiral galaxy located between 30 and 50 million light years from Earth in the constellation Coma Berenices. It's brighter than the Andromeda Galaxy, and much speculation surrounds the nature of its central bulge

Pictured: The Needle Galaxy, known as NGC 4565, is a spiral galaxy located between 30 and 50 million light years from Earth in the constellation Coma Berenices. It's brighter than the Andromeda Galaxy, and much speculation surrounds the nature of its central bulge

Pictured: the Leo triplet, a small group of galaxies about 35 million light years from Earth, in the constellation Leo. It consists of the galaxies M65 (top right), M66 (bottom right) and NGC 3628 (left).

Pictured: the Leo triplet, a small group of galaxies about 35 million light-years from Earth, in the constellation Leo. It consists of the galaxies M65 (top right), M66 (bottom right) and NGC 3628 (left).

Pictured: Bode and Cigar Galaxies. The galaxies M81 (Bode) and M82 (cigar) are a pair of galaxies located in the constellation Ursa Major. Bode's Galaxy (left) is a spiral galaxy about 11.8 million light-years away, while the Cigar Galaxy is an irregular galaxy that is about as far from Earth as Bode's

Pictured: Bode and Cigar Galaxies. The galaxies M81 (Bode) and M82 (cigar) are a pair of galaxies located in the constellation Ursa Major. Bode's Galaxy (left) is a spiral galaxy about 11.8 million light-years away, while the Cigar Galaxy is an irregular galaxy that is about as far from Earth as Bode's

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