For a full size image click here.
Distance: 400 Light Years
Magnitude: Not Known
Size: 5 Degrees x 7 Degrees
Age: Not Known
Telescope: Borg 71
Camera: QSI 683
Mount: AP 900
Exposure: 4 panel mosaic each consisting of: L 8×300 Bin 1, RGB 10×150 Bin2
The Rho Ophiuchi cloud is a very large region in the constellation Ophiuchus. This region contains dark nebula, emission nebula, reflection nebula, and star clusters all set against a rich star field. Below is a partial listing of the objects in my image:
IC 4603 (LBN 1109) (VdB 105) is a reflection nebula that also shows partially as an emission nebula. The central star is SAO 184376 which is the illumination source of the area.
IC 4604 (LBN 1111) (VdB 106) is a reflection nebula with three stars at its center.
IC 4605 (LBN 1110) is a reflection nebula. It is illuminated by the star 22 Scorpii (SAO 184429)
IC 4606 (LBN 1107) is an emission nebula partially illuminated by Antares. It is yellow in color and really stands out from the much bluer IC 4603, IC 4604, and IC 4605.
Messier 4 (NGC 6121) is a class IX globular cluster and at a distance of 7000 light years it is one of the closest globular clusters. It contains several thousand stars and to date 43 are variable stars. Estimated age is 12 billion years.
NGC 6144 is a class XI globular cluster at a distance of 29,000 light years.
SH-9 is an emission nebula that is illuminated by the star Sigma Scorpii.
B42 and B45 separate the reflection nebula IC4603 and IC 4604.
B44 is a large dark nebula that spans 10 degrees from the Rho Ophiuchi complex t the Pipe Nebula.
This image was captured in two nights from a dark site. The conditions were very good with no wind and a humidity of 50%. The target is low from 34 degrees latitude so I was imaging through lots of atmosphere. There were some extreme gradients to deal with due to the altitude of the target and also the large area of the area of the sky involved. I was very pleased to capture this object as it has been on my target list for a couple years. I used a total of four images to create this mosaic. Each image is 3.67 x 2.87 degrees so the mosaic covers about 7 x 5 degrees it total.
Here is a two panel image:
Here is another two panel image:
Here is panel one:
Here is panel 2: