Rho Ophiuchi Cloud Complex

June 28, 2019


Photographer: Miguel Claro
Summary Author: Miguel Claro 

Shown above is an image of the Rho Ophiuchi region of the Milky Way in the constellation of Scorpius. It was captured at the Official Observatory of the Dark Sky at Alqueva, near the village of Cumeada, Portugal. The Rho Ophiuchi Cloud Complex is one of the most colorful star-forming regions and also one of the closest to us – approximately 460 light years distant. These interstellar clouds of gas and dust contain both red emission nebulas and blue reflection nebulas. The dark brown lanes are caused by dust grains, born in young stellar atmospheres, which effectively block the starlight emitted behind them.

At top left-center is the red supergiant, Antares, which even though is some 4,000 light years away is one of the brightest stars in the night sky. Just to the left of Antares is a globular cluster known as M4. The band extending across the center of the image, the Dark River, spans a distance of nearly 100 light years.

Photo Details: Canon 6D modificada camera; 200 mm; f/4; ISO 1600; 105 second exposure x 67 lights; Montagem EM-200; total integration of 67 Lights - 117 minutes exposure. Processing on PixInsight 1.8.6 and Photoshop CC 2019.