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Zeta Ophiuchi and Neighbours: This wide field image spans nearly 40x30 degrees in the sky and covers mainly parts of the constellations of Scorpius and Ophiuchus. This region is by no doubt one of the most colorful and interesting to be found. Many emission and reflection nebulae can be detected as well as plenty of dark nebulae indicating the presence of huge dust clouds among them the Ophiuchus Molecular Cloud, which gives rise to several intensive starbirth areas.

In the upper right part of the image colorful nebulae around Antares, a massive Red Giant star, are displayed, but also extended dark nebulae lanes, the largest of them the so called Dark River, running from Antares down to the huge Dark Horse nebula complex at the bottom right.

Left of center  the very faint nebulosity around the star Zeta Ophiuchi can be seen, which has not been imaged very often. As I also could not find a common name (except the colorless name Zeta Ophiuchi Nebula) for this object I propose to call it "Kobold Nebula". If you look closely you will surely see a kobold´s (sprites´s) face.

Altogether this scene rather looks like a beautiful impressionist painting than an astronomy picture.



Object Zeta Ophiuchi and Neighbours
Category Nebulae
Designation Zeta Ophiuchi
Constellation Ophiuchi, Scorpius
Optics Nikkor 50mm lens 1:1.4 @ f/3.5
Mount Takahashi EM-11
Camera SBIG STL 11000M with internal CFW 5
Exposure 5 x 20min Astronomik H-alpha filter. 4 x 10min each Astrodon RGB filterset. Maxim DL for image acquisition
Calibration Dark + Flat Frame
Guiding Selfguiding
Processing Maxim DL5,Photoshop. Color Code L:H-alpha,R:H-alpha/R,G,B
Location-Date Mount Ceder, South Africa - 12+13 March 2010
Remark Thanks to Bernhard Schölkopf, who provided the Nikkor lens
 
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