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The Details
NGC 6357 War and Peace Nebula in Scorpius
Astro-Physics 12" Mak-Cass f/8
Astro-Physics 1600 Mount with absolute encoders
FLI 16803 Proline CCD
Tru-Balance 5 nm H Alpha Filter
09 June and 05/06 July 2014
Las Campanas Observatory, Chile
Ha 3 x 6 x 1200 sec, 1x1 bin
ACP, Maxim DL/CCD, , CCDStack 2, Photoshop CS5
Field of View: 02°02’ x 00°51’ centered on RA 17h25m00s
DEC -34°11’45” (J2000) . North angle 0.3 °; east 90° CCW from north.
NGC 6357 is a very large, faint emission nebula located in the "stinger" area of the constellation Scorpius. Because it never gets very high above the horizon in the continental US it's a fairly tough object for US astro-imagers. One of my favorite H-alpha targets, NGC 6357 was discovered by John Herschel in 1837 from the Cape of Good Hope, Africa. Lying approximately in the plane of the Milky Way galaxy some 5500 light years from Earth, light from this object is significantly extincted in the blue wavelengths because of the vast amount of intervening galactic dust between us and it. Its stellar nursery of bright blue O-type stars is therefore substantially muted in all but the red wavelengths, with the overall nebula taking on a deep ruddy hue in color images.

The above image is a cropped, three pane mosaic showing some of the very faint areas surrounding NGC 6357.




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