Rho Ophiuchi - Antares

Widefield image Rho Ophiuchi - Antares region

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Widefield image Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex and Antares

The Antares – Rho Ophiuchi area is one of the most beautiful and colorful areas of the night sky and a favorite target for stargazers and astro-imagers.  It’s in the direct vicinity of the milky way core, at the heart of the constellation Scorpius.

Antares is one of the brightest stars in the sky, rising in the east in the north hemisphere spring, and can be observed all summer long. Unfortunately for me – living in Belgium – it hardly rises above the horizon. Moreover, in my home observatory with a light polluted Bortle 7 sky, I can’t observe it properly…

This image is acquired with a Takahashi FSQ-106ED refractor from Telescope Live in Heaven's Mirror Observatory, Australia.

The photogenic Antares – Rho Ophiuchi area consists of many interesting deep sky objects: emission nebulae, blue reflection nebulae, long dark (nebula) lanes, some globular clusters and (obviously) the multiple star system Rho Ophiuchi. In the second picture I identified most of these objects (using astrometry).

The Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex, is a nebula of gas and dust, which the Rho Ophiuchi system is embedded in. It is one of the easiest nearest star forming regions to observe: about 460 light-years away…
The central star system, known as Rho Ophiuchi AB, has an apparent magnitude of 4.63 and is located about 360 light-years away. It consists of at least two blue-colored subgiants or main-sequence stars, designated Rho Ophiuchi A and B, respectively. Rho Ophiuchi AB is a visual binary, and the two stars take about 2,400 years to complete an orbit.

The other stars in the system are slightly farther away. HIP 80474 is located 2.5 arcminutes away and is known as Rho Ophiuchi C. HIP 80461 is located 2.82 arcminutes away and is known as Rho Ophiuchi DE. Stars C and D are both B-type main-sequence stars, and D itself is another binary with an orbital period of around 680 years.

I always like to identify (the location of) DSO’s on my nightscape or night travel images…  This MW image was made when I was travelling in Namibia in September 2018 (Fish River canyon). It’s a single shot image, made with a Canon 700D and Samyang 16mm/F2 lens (15s at ISO3200). Antares and Rho Ophiuchi were close to the horizon, but still clearly visible.

Images
Image acquired with a Takahashi FSQ-106ED refractor and FLI PL16803 camera from Telescope Live in Heaven's Mirror Observatory in Australia.

Total exposure 180 minutes. LRGB 6:4:4:4 in subframes of 600s with each filter.

The 3rd image is made with the same telescope, but with more integration time.
Total exposure 360 minutes. LRGB 12:8:8:8 in subframes of 600s with each filter.

The 4th RGB-image is captured with the Nikon 200 F/2 and FLI ML16200 camera from Telescope Live in El Sauce Observatory, Chile.
Total exposure time 275 minutes. RGB 18:18:19 in subs of 300s with each filter.

The 5th image is a detailed image of the multiple star system Rho Ophiuchi, acquired with the Planewave CDK24 telescope from Telescope Live in El Sauce Observatory, Chile.
Total exposure time 200 minutes. LRGB 6:8:4:2 in subs of 600s with each filter.

Processing with AstroPixelProcessor and Photoshop CC with AstroPanel 4.2, Astronomy Tools, Topaz Sharpen AI and Franzis Denoise Projects 3 plug-ins.

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