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Dates & Location

23 Aprill - 18th May 2015 from the AstroCamp site near Nerpio, Spain. Elevation 1400 m.
Lat 38°:10 N, Long 2°:20 W

Catalogue identification

Antares (Alpha Scorpii) and the Rho Ophiuchi Nebula.
In this image, North is at the left.

Equipment Used

Takahashi FSQ106N at 530mm focal length, F5.0.
Paramount ME German equatorial Mount.
Camera SBIG ST-11000M with FW-8L filter wheel.
TheSkyX Pro telescope control.
CCDSoft V 5.0 camera control.

Lakeside Focuser with FocusMax
ScopeDome remote observatory.


Where it is in space

The Rho Ophiuchi Cloud Complex is a rich blue reflection region of dust and gas around the binary star Rho Ophiuchi. The cloud extends south towards the brightest star in Scorpio which in turn has extensive emission and absorbtion clouds with complex structures surrounding it.


Remote session using RADMIN PC control from Ravenshead, UK.
Exposures: Lum 15 x 10min. R:G:B each master 8x10 min. All sub-exposures
-20°C. All images binned 1x1.
Mainly automated sessions using CCDAutoPilot V5.

This image is a 2-panel mosaic - my first ever attempt !

  What it is

At a distance of about 500 light years, it is probably the closest stellar nursery to our Solar System. It consists of two major regions of dense gas and dust. The first contains a star-forming cloud and two filaments, while the second has a star-forming region and a single filament . Some of the structures within the complex appear to be the result of a shock front passing through the clouds from the direction of nearby hot new giant stars. 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 them.


Processing Methods

Data reduction with CCDStack. Lum and RGB masters and RGB colour combine prepared in CCDStack.  
  Final LRGB processing using PhotoShop CS6.