NASA shares Vancouver photographer's stunning night shot of The Lions

Jan 29 2021, 3:54 pm

A Vancouver photographer’s night shot of The Lions on the North Shore has been featured in a NASA photo gallery.

The photo was taken on January 21 by 20-year-old Liron Gertsman, and it shows the North America and Pelican Nebulae in what’s known as the Cygnus region of the night sky, above the iconic peaks.

On Friday, January 29, it was featured on NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day gallery.

NASA screenshot

“I was super excited when I received the news,” Gertsman told Daily Hive about his reaction to the NASA feature. “It’s been a goal of mine for a while… but I never imagined it would come so soon.”

Describing it as “one of the most ambitious” photos he’s ever attempted, Gertsman shared how it all came to be, from planning and execution to the final product.

“I first imagined this photo a few months ago,” he said. “While running virtual simulations on my computer, I was astonished to see that the North America Nebula, a huge cloud of gas over 2,200 light years from Earth, would align perfectly with The Lions, if I was in the right place at the right time.”

With this shot and others, Gertsman said his main goal with photography is to “promote conservation,” adding that the pursuit of his craft started when he was five, “borrowing a little point-and-shoot camera that my parents had.”

The more people are exposed to nature, “the more they will want to protect it,” he said. “You need to see, or experience something to fall in love with it.”

And being a photographer in a city “with incredible natural surroundings,” Gertsman said he feels it’s his “duty to bring nature to people who may have not yet had the chance to experience such beauty.”

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