Rho Ophiuchi Region

Emission and Reflection Nebulosity

Uploaded 6/16/03

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This region of both red emission nebulosity, and orange and blue reflection nebulosity is arguably the most colorful region in the entire sky for astrophotographers. In this single 8 minute exposure, a plethora of both bright and dark nebula are recorded. ( I usually intend to shoot images in pairs, we wont mention what happened to the second image) Of special interest in this image, are the following details.

Blue reflection nebulas in this field include IC4604 at top, with IC4603 just above center. The small blue cloud just above the orange cloud to the left is IC4605. Now for a special treat, one of the VERY few reflection nebulas in the sky that is other than blue, we can see the orange colored IC4606, a reflection nebula from the heart of the Scorpion - Antares the brilliant star at bottom left. Curiously, a small tattered emission nebula, Sharpless 2-9 lies to the lower right part of the image. It appears to be illuminated by Sigma Scorpii, just to its left. But then again we can see a hint of blue in a faint reflection nebula surrounding Sigma as well. And of course the huge globular star cluster M4 is at the bottom center.

One of the prominent dark nebula, Barnard 44 at center left is peculiar in that while the top portion is illuminated a blue color, the lower edge is reddish and it seems to merge with the orange reflection nebula IC4606.

Instrument:  8" f/1.5 Celestron Schmidt Camera
Platform:  Homemade GEM
Film:  Kodak Supra 400
CCD Autoguider: ST4
Exposure:  8mins
Filters:  None
Location:  Happy Jack, Arizona
Elevation:  6800 ft.
Sky:  Seeing 8/10, Transparency 9/10
Outside Temperature:  10 C
Processing: Photoshop, SGBNR.


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