A Cirencester astrophotographer has had one of his images featured by NASA.

Russell Discombe's photo of the Crescent Nebula was chosen as the Astronomy Picture of the Day, a website produced by NASA and Michigan Technological University.

He collaborated with fellow astrophotographers Joe Navara and Glenn Clouder to produce the stunning picture.

An explanation of the image on the website states: "NGC 6888, also known as the Crescent Nebula, is a about 25 light-years across blown by winds from its central, bright, massive star.

"A triumvirate of astroimagers created this sharp portrait of the cosmic bubble.

"Their telescopic collaboration collected over 30 hours of narrow band image data isolating light from hydrogen and oxygen atoms.

"The oxygen atoms produce the blue-green hue that seems to enshroud the detailed folds and filaments.

"Visible within the nebula, NGC 6888's central star is classified as a Wolf-Rayet star (WR 136).

"The star is shedding its outer envelope in a strong stellar wind, ejecting the equivalent of the Sun's mass every 10,000 years.

"The nebula's complex structures are likely the result of this strong wind interacting with material ejected in an earlier phase.

"Burning fuel at a prodigious rate and near the end of its stellar life this star should ultimately go out with a bang in a spectacular supernova explosion.

"Found in the nebula rich constellation Cygnus, NGC 6888 is about 5,000 light-years away."

Russell believes the image is the best he has ever created. You can watch a video of the image being created on his YouTube channel - Russell's Astrophotography

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