Astronomy Picture of the Day

The Colorful Clouds of Rho Ophiuchi

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#91260 by @ 15.07.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
The Colorful Clouds of Rho Ophiuchi


stunning mosiac
of the sky around bright stars
Antares (Alpha
Rho Ophiuchi
reveals spectacular colors in a cosmic starscape.

Near the top, Rho Ophiuchi and nearby stars
are immersed in blue reflection nebulae - dust
clouds that shine primarily by
reflected starlight.

Cool supergiant star
(lower left) is itself shedding the
material that reflects the evolved star's yellowish hue.

Characteristic of star forming regions, the telltale red
emission from hydrogen gas also
permeates the view along with dark, obscuring
dust clouds seen
in silhouette against the background stars
and brighter nebulosities.

About 500 light-years away,
the Rho Ophiuchi star clouds,
are well in front of the nearby
globular star
cluster M4, visible
just below and right of center.

The wide view spans about 6 degrees on the sky.

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