Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Rho Ophiuchi and Antares 520 light years Image Credit: Australian Astronomical Observatory/David Malin

Rho Ophiuchi and  Antares
Image Credit: Australian Astronomical Observatory/David Malin
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This dusty region between the constellations Ophiuchus (the "snake holder") and Scorpius (the "scorpion") contains a colorful cosmic vista. These colors tell some of the story behind the interplay between light and matter in this object. For example, the blue glow in the upper part of this image is reflected light from stars embedded in dust. The yellow glow in the lower left is light from the giant star Antares that is reflected by dust that the star itself has created. The darker black areas—especially the middle left of the picture—are caused by clouds that hide light from more distant stars in background stars. Light is commonly reflected and blocked both here on Earth and across the Universe.