There’s no shortage of incredible space photos to find online, and thanks to one amazing picture of a space ‘jellyfish,’ that point was recently proven once again. The depths of outer space are almost impossible to comprehend. Within our own tiny Solar System are numerous alien planets, tons of asteroids, and the big and powerful Sun that sustains life on Earth. And that’s just the Solar System! Beyond that is the rest of the Milky Way galaxy. On an even greater scale is the entirety of the universe and the billions of galaxies that reside in it.
While much of the universe remains mysterious and uncharted, talented humans are constantly working to uncover as much of it as possible. Just a few days ago, NASA shared a stunning Hubble photo of a baby star throwing a ‘stellar tantrum.’ The Perseverance Mars rover also captured a ‘flower’ casually hanging out on the Martian surface. And it’s not just NASA doing all the work. Back in December, photographer Andrew McCarthy shared an incredibly detailed picture of the Sun — revealing its iconic orange/yellow color and powerful flares erupting from its surface.
Related: This New Photo Of The Sun Is One Of The Best You’ll Ever See
Looking to further highlight the talent of independent photographers, Reddit user u/MrJackDog recently shared a trio of amazing space objects that they found with their telescope. The first one (seen above) shows a huge collection of cosmic gas and dust floating through space. Not only are the blue and red colors outstanding, but the shape of the object makes it look just like a jellyfish! The large head is seen towards the top, as are the spindly legs below it.
More Photos Of A Space ‘Squid’ & ‘Dolphin’
But a jellyfish isn’t the only thing u/MrJackDog captured. They also shared the above two photos of a space ‘squid’ and ‘dolphin.’ The space squid is seen on the left and is pretty unmistakable. Amidst a sea of gorgeous red is the squid’s transparent body — including its pointy head and long body below it. The dolphin is found in the rightmost picture. Some users have commented that the dolphin looks more like a shrimp than anything else. Regardless of what it looks like to you, there’s no denying that it’s a jaw-dropping photo either way.
In their now-viral post on the r/Space subreddit, u/MrJackDog says they found these ‘cosmic sea creatures’ after searching for them every clear night during the winter. They dived a bit deeper into the capture process in one comment, saying, “Each of these photographs was made using a 4” refractor telescope and narrowband filters to target the specific emissions wavelengths of hydrogen alpha and oxygen iii ions present in the nebulae. I captured them from my front yard outside of Charlottesville, Virginia between November and February.”
Along with the three objects requiring a lot of time to find, it also sounds like the capture process was no less tedious. u/MrJackDog outlined all of their imaging and editing equipment in another comment. At the core of the setup is a ZWO ASI2600MM-Pro camera and an Esprit100ED telescope. Combined with all of their other equipment, u/MrJackDog says the total setup costs around $5000 – $6000. And you know what? The results are more than worth it. Astrophotography on this level is anything but easy, but when it’s done well, it’s done really, really well.