Rho Ophiuchi Region Even Deeper

Rich Milky Way Region

Uploaded 7/1703

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This new image is 3x deeper than the previous one, and reveals a much deeper view of the amazing colors in this part of the sky. Newly recorded on this frame is the extensive red background emission nebulosity, such as below Sigma Scorpii we can now see a waterfall of red pouring out of a ring of fire with a very blue core. A large amount of red also appears now below and to the lower left of Antares, the bright orange star in the image. The colors in the diagonal dust lanes are stunning. A brownish red core surrounded by a deep red to orange rims. Additional descriptions for this object are below.

A 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:  3x8mins
Filters:  NONE
Location:  Happy Jack, Arizona
Elevation:  6800 ft.
Sky:  Seeing 8/10, Transparency 9/10
Outside Temperature:  15 C
Processing: Photoshop, PW Pro.


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