GERARD LODRIGUSS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GERARD LODRIGUSS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
NGC 6334 is the Cat's Paw Nebula in Scorpius. It is a large area of emission nebulosity more than a half of a degree in size located about 3 degrees northwest of Lambda Scorpii, the Stinger in the Scorpion's tail. To the upper left of NGC 6334 is dark nebula Barnard 257. The nebula is about 5,500 light years away, and shines from the light of ionized hydrogen, which gives it a red color. It was discovered by John Herschel in 1837. Although the Cat's Paw is most commonly referred to as NGC 6334, technically NGC 6334 is only the bottom left lobe of the nebula. The entire nebula is officially known as RCW 127. RCW refers to a catalog of nebulae published in 1960 by Alex Rodgers, Colin Campbell, and John Whiteoak, at Australia's Mount Stromlo.
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