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Distance: 650 Light Years
Magnitude: Not Known
Size: 37’ x 16’ Arc Minutes
Age: Not Known
Telescope: Borg 71
Camera: QSI 683
Mount: AP 900
Exposure: L 24×60 Bin 1, RGB 24×30 Bin2
Barnard 72, commonly known as the Snake Nebula, is a dusty region in the constellation Ophiuchus. This dark nebula is set against the bright and colorful star field of our Milky Way galaxy. Dark nebula often house regions of star formation and Barnard 72 is one of these regions. The Spitzer and Herschel space telescopes have identified two regions noted as P1 and P6 that contain 23 cosmic seeds that will eventually form in to stars. These seeds have been measured and their masses vary between 5-25 times the mass of our Sun. To attach a diameter to this mass, these seeds span a distance of several hundred billion kilometers. For comparison the distance from the Sun to Earth is 150 million kilometers.
There are several other dark nebula in my field of view with Barnard 68, 69, 70, 74 to the bottom right. The Snake Nebula is part of a larger dusty region called the Dark Horse Nebula. I could not find any other sources to identify the other dark regions in this field of view. On the right side of my image is globular cluster NGC 6325.
This image was captured from a dark site under very poor conditions. I started imaging at 9:15PM and it completely fogged over at 11:15PM. The humidity was very high and my small laptop table was very wet. However, I thought this image was a keeper.