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Link to higher resolution 1920x1280

Rho Ophiuchus region

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 just above the core of the Milky Way (Below left). 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.

This image was taken with a Canon 60Da DSLR and 35mm lens unguided using a Astrotrac with a portable pier system. The image was manually dithered between exposures. Processing was done converting the .raw image files to .tiff using Adobe Bridge and camera raw. The .tiff files were aligned and stacked with PixInsight 1.8. Processing was done with PixInsight 1.8 with some final tweaking with Photoshop CC 2017.
Image Details

  • Optics : 35mm Rokinon f1.4 lens @ f4
  • Mount: Astrotrac and portable pier system
  • Camera: Canon 60Da
  • Filters: None
  • Exposure: (15) 3min exposures manually dithered, ISO 3200
  • Camera/Mount Control: Interval timer
  • Guiding: None
  • Processing: PixInsight 1.8, Photoshop CC 2017
  • Location: Texas Star Party, Ft Davis TX
  • Date: May 2017
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