Total Exposure Time: 11:10 hours L(bin1:Ha); R(bin2:SII,Ha,R),G(bin2:OIII,G),B(bin2:OIII,B)
LRGB 180/330[60,180,70)/130[60,70]/130[60,70]/ 10 minute frames
This image is 1570x1043 pixels
This image was published as NASA APOD for February 1, 2014: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140201.html
A zoom in version of this image is found here: http://www.pbase.com/boren/image/153961607/original
I have shot this image from the Kalahari desert, Namibia http://www.pbase.com/boren/kalahari_southen_skies), working together with expert astrophotographer and good friend, Tal Faibish http://www.pbase.com/boren/image/153674877), and have processed it twice (after the first attempt was far from the realistic form I had in my mind).
Officina Stellare Riccardi-Honders Veloce RH 200 OTA
Officina Stellare - http://www.officinastellare.com/products_scheda.php?idProd=15
On my site - http://www.pbase.com/boren/officina_stellare_riccardihonders_veloce_rh_200
Deeper technical informaiton on the Riccardi-Honders design - http://www.telescope-optics.net/honders_camera.htm
SBIG STL11000M, AP GTO1200 mount, guided w/PHD
Dark shapes with bright edges winging their way through dusty NGC 6188 are tens of light-years long.
The emission nebula is found near the edge of an otherwise dark large molecular cloud in the southern constellation Ara, about 4,000 light-years away.
Formed in that region only a few million years ago, the massive young stars of the embedded Ara OB1 association sculpt the fantastic shapes and power the nebular glow with stellar winds and intense ultraviolet radiation.
The recent star formation itself was likely triggered by winds and supernova explosions, from previous generations of massive stars, that swept up and compressed the molecular gas.
NGC 6193 is an open cluster containing 27 stars, with the bright mag. 5.5 double-star HR6167 visible at its center (visible to the unaided eye) at the very center of the Ara OB1 association.
Beautiful emission nebula NGC 6164 is visible at the bottom right of the image. It was created by a rare, hot, luminous O-type star, some 40 times as massive as the Sun. Seen at the center of this cosmic cloud, the star is a mere 3 to 4 million years old. In another three to four million years the massive star will end its life in a supernova explosion. Spanning around 4 light-years, the nebula itself has a bipolar symmetry. That makes it similar in appearance to more familiar planetary nebulae - the gaseous shrouds surrounding dying sun-like stars. Also like many planetary nebulae, NGC 6164 has been found to have an extensive, faint halo, revealed in this deep telescopic image of the region. Expanding into the surrounding interstellar medium, the material in the halo is likely from an earlier active phase of the O star (ref. http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090507.html).
The color palette that was used to create this wide-field image seeks to create a near-real view of the objects imaged: joining the deep red emissions from sulfur and hydrogen, with the green and blue hues strengthened by the emission of oxygen atoms (which is in fact green only).
NGC 6200 is the open cluster at the bottom left of the image. It contains one β Cephei variable.
At the estimated distance of NGC 6188, the picture spans about 200 light-years (ref. http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140201.html)