Rho Ophiuchi Region

Rho Ophiuchi is the triple star, lower right, which lies in a region of dense, highly structured dust and molecular clouds that fills the field of view. Its blue light is scattered by dust particles to produce the beautiful blue reflection nebulosity. It is not alone as the star in the middle of the field is also affected. 

Upper left, out of the field, lies the red supergiant Antares which also lies in an reflection nebula, however, this nebula is unusually orange-coloured as this is the highest frequency light that Antares emits. At lower left are traces of blue reflection nebulosity, but also bright red emission nebulosity of material excited by the high energy radiation of s Scorpii, out of the field. 

Most of the stars in the field are very distant as their light has been strongly reddened by passage through the intervening clouds. In places the clouds are so dense that no star light gets through at all and these appear to be starless. The dust and molecular cloud complex lies relatively close to Earth at just 460 light years.


Camera: SBIG STL11000M, Astrodon I filters Scope: Takahashi TOA-130, f=720mm, f5.6 (fov ~2.8 x 2.0)
Mount: Takahashi EM-200 Temma2 Guiding: external, E-finder
Exposures: L:R:G:B = 90:40:30:50min3h30m Location: LMDSS, Heathcote, Victoria
Dates: September 2015 Processing: CCDStack2, RegiStar and Photoshop CS5