Hemisphere:  Southern  ·  Constellation: Scorpius (Sco)  ·  Contains:  Extremely wide field
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The Rho Ophiuchi Cloud Complex - Part 2, 


            Matt Harbison
The Rho Ophiuchi Cloud Complex - Part 2
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The Rho Ophiuchi Cloud Complex - Part 2

Acquisition details

Feb. 4, 2016 ·  Feb. 18, 2016
Astronomik 6nm H-alpha: 4×420(28′) -15°C bin 1×1
ZWO LRGB: 8×180(24′) bin 1×1
ZWO LRGB: 4×120(8′) -15°C bin 2×2
Avg. Moon age:
17.95 days
Avg. Moon phase:

RA center: 16h43m03s.8

DEC center: -25°1452

Pixel scale: 38.208 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 91.784 degrees

Field radius: 8.356 degrees

Resolution: 620x864

File size: 479.0 KB

Locations: Cloudland Canyon, Trenton, Georgia, United States


Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex -Part II

Adding a second panel revealing the dark region rising from the Milky Way. The "summer" Milky Way is rising into view!

When I began my journey into astrophotography years ago, the Antares region was one of the first things that peaked my interest. Mainly because I had seen it as a kid to the right of Sagittarius in the brightest region of our visible Milky Way. In the spring and summer sky, Antares rises just under Scorpius to reveal a wonderfully colorful area.

Imaged in the early morning hours as this vibrant region of our galaxy core rose above the Northern hemisphere tree line. Announcing the arrival of the spring and summer, this region consists of the Star Antares, the Rho Ophiuchi Nebula, M4, and the Star Al Niyat. Gloriously colorful, this area reveals dark clouds of debris that could one day be the building blocks for new worlds.

Captured in February during the new moon at Fall Creek Falls State Park. Acquisition in Sequence Generator Pro, calibrated in Pixinsight, and adjusted for levels and exported in Photoshop.

From Wiki:

The Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex is a dark nebula of gas and dust that is located 1° south of the star ρ Ophiuchi of the constellation Ophiuchus. At an estimated distance of 131 ± 3 parsecs, this cloud is one of the closest star-forming regions to the Solar System.

This cloud covers an angular area of 4.5° × 6.5° on the celestial sphere. It consists of two major regions of dense gas and dust. The first contains a star-forming cloud (L1688) and two filaments (L1709 and L1755), while the second has a star-forming region (L1689) and a filament (L1712–L1729). These filaments extend up to 10–17.5 parsecs in length and can be as narrow as 0.24 parsecs in width. Some of the structures within the complex appear to be the result of a shock front passing through the clouds from the direction of the neighboring Sco OB2 association.

Temperatures of the clouds range from 13–22 K, and there is a total of about 3,000 times the mass of the Sun in material. Over half of the mass of the complex is concentrated around the L1688 cloud, and this is the most active star-forming region. There are embedded infrared sources within the complex. A total of 425 infrared sources have been detected near the L1688 cloud. These are presumed to be young stellar objects, including 16 classified as protostars, 123 T Tauri stars with dense circumstellar disks, and 77 weaker T Tauri stars with thinner disks. The last two categories of stars have estimated ages ranging from 100,000 to a million years.

The first brown dwarf to be identified in a star-forming region was Rho Oph J162349.8-242601, located in the Rho Ophiuchi cloud. One of the older objects at the edge of the primary star-forming region was found to be a circumstellar disk seen nearly edge on. It spans a diameter of 300 AU and contains at least twice the mass of Jupiter. The million-year-old star at the center of the disk has a temperature of 3,000 K and is emitting 0.4 times the luminosity of the Sun.

Acquisition Details:

2 panels-

HA 4x 420s 1x1

Lum 8 x 180s 1x1

RGB- 8 x 120s 2x2

Equipment Used:

100mm Canon L Lens

Atik 383L + Monochrome

Gerd Neumann Filter Drawer System

Astro Physics Mach 1 Mount


Sky plot

Sky plot


The Rho Ophiuchi Cloud Complex - Part 2, 


            Matt Harbison