The Rho Ophiuchi Cloud Complex is easily one of the prettiest areas in the summer night sky. It lies in the constellation of Scorpius.
The nebulosity consists mostly of reflection nebulae. The Antares nebula glows a beautiful golden yellow color and is centered around the star Antares. Dark nebulae Barnard 42, 44 and 45 are also visible. These are large molecular clouds that absorb light and hence appear as dark regions.
At about 500 light years away it is one of the closest start forming regions to Earth. The visible part of this nebula is only a small fraction of the larger molecular cloud in the region.
This a 2 panel mosaic imaged from the SDAA Dark Site on June 4, 2021. Transparency was below average close to the horizon but got better as the evening went on.
Total Exposure time: 3.2 hours (1 hour 40 minutes per panel 20 x 300″)
Scope: FRA400 w 0.7x reducer
Camera: ASI2600MC Pro
Software: NINA, SharpCap (for Polar Alignment) and PHD2
Processed with Astro Pixel Processor and Topaz Denoise AI