Shark-shaped nebula

Dark shark nebula

A photographer captured a rare picture of a deep space nebula in the shape of a great white shark.

The award-winning picture shows the rarely-photographed Lynds Dark 1235 Nebula in the constellation of Cepheus, also known as the ‘Dark Shark’ due to its resemblance to a giant great white swimming through the stars.

Astrophotographer Alessandro Merga, 24, photographed the patch of deep space above Saint Barthelemy in the Aosta Valley, France last Saturday (SEPT 27).

He photographed the nebula over a period of six hours and 20 minutes.

Mr Merga, of Varese, Italy, said: “I am very satisfied with the result, especially as it took me all night to take the picture.”

The nebula, found in the northern hemisphere, is not very bright so photographing it in great detail is considered difficult.

Mr Merga used a Skywatcher 250cf f4 telescope and a Canon 450D camera to snap the galactic image.

The impressive picture was awarded first prize at the 23rd Star Party photography competition in Saint Barthelemy.

To discuss rates for using pictures and copy, contact news editor Tom Knight on 07815 004413 or

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