Stunning nebulae images captured by amateur astronomer

Amazing Space Nebula Pictures

Rosette Nebula, 5,000 light years from earth; photo by Dennis Roscoe/Caters News Agency

Dr. Dennis Roscoe is an engineering instructor at the University of Wisconsin. That's his day job.

But by night the amateur astronomer, in his personal observatory, has a powerful telescope and state-of-the-art camera trained on cosmic matter, light years away.

Amazing Space Nebula Pictures

Lagoon Master, a star-forming nebula; photo by Dennis Roscoe/Caters News Agency

For 10 years, photographing distant nebulae has been Roscoe's passion, and his stunning images reveal the brilliance of these building blocks of the universe: clouds of dust and gas from which stars and solar systems are born.

"Every time I photograph these beautiful nebulae I remember how insignificant we really are in the big picture of the universe," Roscoe told Caters News Agency.

Amazing Space Nebula Pictures

Orion Nebula, south of Orion’s Belt; photo by Dennis Roscoe/Caters News Agency

Stars within these cosmic clouds, which are among the largest formations in the galaxy, illuminate their gasses and produce their vivid colors.

But to show the essense of the nebulae, through photography, requires lots of time and patience.

Amazing Space Nebula Pictures

Pelican nebula (try to spot the head, beak and eye); photo by Dennis Roscoe/Caters News Agency

Amazing Space Nebula Pictures

Jellyfish nebula, thought to be the remnants of a supernova; photo by Dennis Roscoe/Caters News Agency

For Roscoe, a single photo requires about 12 hours of imaging time, using the Hubble color palette: certain filters to bring out the true radiance of clouds that consist of dust, hydrogen, helium, and plasma.

Roscoe described the distant nebulae as "cosmic recycling plants," because of their dynamic nature. He hopes his images will help bring about a greater understanding of, and appreciation for, the mysterious universe.

“Through a deeper understanding of the cosmos, we can one day dispel all of our superstitions and find our true place in the universe,” he said.

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