Physics majors Michael Waddell and Orlando Gomez tied for the best color picture from images taken by the SARA telescope from Kitt Peak. Michael chose to use images of a star cluster, M46 to color combine, while Orlando used the Southern Pinwheel galaxy M83 images. All four judges ranked their pictures as either 1 or 2, but in the end each received 2 first place votes establishing the tie. The reward: Pizza for the entire observational astronomy class!
Mr. Gomez's caption is: M83, also known as the "Southern Pinwheel Galaxy", is one of the brightest known spiral galaxies in the night sky! It is over 15 million light years away and it is a collection of billions of stars and dust that spiral around its galactic nuclear core. m83.jpg
Mr. Waddell's caption is: M46 is an open cluster in the constellation Puppis and was discovered by Charles Messier in 1771 and it contains the planetary nebula NGC 2348 m46.jpg.