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Distance: 8,000 Light Years
Size: 50 Arc Minutes
Age: Not Known
Telescope: Takahashi TOA-130
Camera: QSI 683
Mount: AP 900
Exposure: L 14×480 Bin 1, RGB 20×240 Bin2
NGC 6357, also known as the War and Peace nebula, is an emission nebula in the constellation Scorpius. It is also known as the Lobster nebula and I personally think this is the best description. As with all emission nebula NGC 6357 is home to many young hot stars. It is also home to three large star clusters with Pismis 24 being the largest containing about 800 stars at an age of 1-3 million years. NGC 6357 is illuminated by several large young stars. These stars are also responsible for carving out the many shapes seen throughout the nebula. Most of these shapes appear as knotty or wispy structures but there are also a few elephant trunk structures in the nebula which are thought to contain star forming regions.
This image was captured in one night under good conditions with no wind and about 50% humidity. I am at 34 degrees latitude so this target was really low in the South and I was very excited to be able to capture it. I have had it on my to-do list for three years now and I can finally mark it as done.
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