Colorful Clouds of Rho ophiuchi

at the border of Scorpius and Ophiucus

Colorful Clouds of Rho ophiuchi
Éder Iván

Colorful clouds decorate this region of the sky surrounding the bright triple star Rho Ophiuchus. Probably this is the most colorful area visible from Earth.

The blue reflection nebula surrounding Rho Ophiuchus represents the visible counterpart of a much larger but invisible molecular cloud permeating the region and known as the Ophiuchus cloud. The area is highlighted by the bright star Antares as well, a red supergiant star, located close to the border of the image.
The central core of this giant molecular cloud can be seen as a dense dark nebula, where no star visible on this picture. Although if we imaged in infrared light, we could look into the dust seeing star formation directly, spotting many young stars there.  

This is one of the nearest and most studied regions of star formation in the local Milky Way at a distance of about 520 light years.

Image details

200/750 Newton, 3" Wynne (710mm effective focal length)
Home-modified Canon EOS 5DmkII
SkyWatcher EQ6 + Boxdörfer DynoStar
9x50mm SkyWatcher finder scope (50/180mm), Lacerta-MGen autoguider
Exposure time, filters:
49x5 min (4 hours 15 minutes total) @ ISO 1600
Location, date:
Hakos astrofarm, Namibia (1835m); 2010.05.09.
Observing conditions:
Transparency: 9/10, Seeing: 9/10, Temperature: +13°C
ImagesPlus, Registar, Photoshop

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