Stacks Image 675

Rho Ophuichi Nebula Complex

About this object

Often called one of the most beautiful areas of the summer sky, the Rho Ophuichi nebula complex shines with reflection and emission nebula along with dark clouds of dust. Antares is the bright orange star in the lower center part of the nebula. Just to the right of Antares is the globular cluster M4. North of Antares, within the blue reflection area is the star Rho Ophiuchi shining at magnitude 4.6. A higher resolution view show Rho Ophiuchi flanked by two other stars of mag 5 and 5.9. Within this entire nebua complex are the objects IC4603, 04,05 and 06. The bright orange dust around the star Antares is designated IC 4606 and reflects the color of the star. The colorful clouds surrounding Rho Ophiuchi represent the visible counterpart of a much larger but invisible molecular cloud permeating the region. This Ophiuchus cloud lies well above the plane of the galaxy, near the border of the Scorpius-Centaurus OB association. About 1.5 million years ago, a massive star in upper Scorpius exploded as a supernova, sending a powerful shock wave through the Ophiuchus cloud about 1 million years ago, triggering star formation that is still continuing today.

Image Details

  • Optics : Canon 70-200mm f4 L lens at 70mm
  • Mount: Astrotrac
  • Camera: Canon 60Da
  • Filters: None
  • Exposure: (17) 3 min exposures at ISO 1600
  • Camera/Mount Control: Interval Timer
  • Location: Stellarvue Deep Sky Party, Likely CA
  • Date: June 12
Stacks Image 81
Stacks Image 82