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This is a detail of the Rho Ophiuchi Nebula Complex, which is one of the most colorful and most beautiful regions in the sky. It contains dark nebulae where lanes of obscuring dust hide background stars, blue reflection nebulae where interstellar dust is illuminated by nearby stars and red emission nebulae where hydrogen gas itself is emitting light. The diversity of color in this region is remarkable and unusual.
The orange-glowing red-giant star Antares, the brightest star in the constellation Scorpio, dominates the photo at the lower left, it enlightens a "selfmade" (by stellar wind) nebulous cloud of yellowish cool gas which is designated IC 4605. Sigma Scorpii is another bright star at right which is surrounded by the red emission nebulosity Sh2-9.
The globular cluster of stars at the lower right is the globular star cluster M4. There is another fainter globular cluster in this field of view, NGC 6144, northwest of Antares.
Rho Ophiuchi Nebula Complex, telelens photograph.
Globular Cluster M4, refractor photograph.
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© 2010 Walter Koprolin