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Drifting through the Orion Arm of the Milky Way is the California Nebula, a cloud of hydrogen and sulfur glowing red, orange, and yellow, with a wispy blue veil of oxygen. More than 100 light-years long, this "California shaped" mass is not far from the Pleiades star cluster in the constellation Perseus. I shot this image with a 550mm refracting telescope, a tight framing to reveal the swirling structure of the gases. I composed the image in a portrait orientation, with the cloud rising across the frame to emphasize the movement of the nebular folds.


21.1 hours total exposure of ionized hydrogen, oxyg