BABAK TAFRESHI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BABAK TAFRESHI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Rho Ophiuchi nebula. These coloured regions are clouds of dust and gas surrounding bright stars, lying around 500 light years from Earth. The star Rho Ophiuchi is in the cloud towards upper right, which appears blue as fine dust particles reflect the light of the star. The red region is an emission nebula surrounding the star Sigma Scorpii. Radiation from the star ionises hydrogen gas in the cloud, causing it to glow. The yellow cloud is material shed from, and reflecting the light of, supergiant star Antares (Alpha Scorpii, lower right). To its upper left is the globular star cluster M4. Dark regions are dust clouds obscuring the light from behind.
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