Antares and Rho Ophiuchi: 14 Aug. 2023.

One of the most fascinating stars in the sky, Antares dominates a wonderful patch of heaven: a rich star field with plenty of clusters, dark and bright nebulae, including the famous Rho Ophiuchi complex. All this in one of our most spectacular images ever.

The star Antares, the Rho Ophiuchi complex and a reach region of the Milky Way.

The star Antares, the Rho Ophiuchi complex and a reach region of the Milky Way.

The image above comes from the combination of 16, 120-second exposures, remotely taken on 14 Aug. 2023 with the Samyang 135+Paramount ME+ZWO ASI 6200MC Pro robotic unit available as part of the Virtual Telescope Project facility in Manciano, Italy. The covered field of view is of 15 x 10 square degrees.

After we captured the frames above, they were carefully processed by the DeepLab team and the resulting image is provided above.

The bright star Antares (close to the center) stands out because of its obvious reddish color (hence the name, rivaling with Mars – Ares – the Red Planet). Its intense light is also reflected by the dusty cloud (IC 4606) close to the center of the image. Rho Ophiuchi is evident because of the very blue hue of its light, also reflected by the IC 4604 nebula. On the left corner, there is a bright patch of our Milky Way, providing the extreme star density we see in the image.

This part of the sky is so reach that we prefer to show a map below, identifying the many gems visible there (we used the CC graphics available here):

A map labelling all the object of the area.

A map labelling all the object of the area.

We believe this image really celebrates the beauty of the Cosmos.

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