May 2023 - Picture of the Month
Reflection Nebula IC4603 in Ophiuchus
Everything in this image is part of the Antares region of dust, gas and star formation that straddles Ophiuchus and Scorpius, and that I've featured before in a wide-field image also from Capella Observatory.
However this time we're concentrating on a small part of it that's sandwiched between bright Antares, which is below this image, and the part that lies above in the northern extent of that cloud, the rho Ophiuchi nebula (IC4604).
This image is a combination of blue reflected light from hot embedded stars and the redder emission from the hot gas and dust itself, but IC4603 is considered to be the reflection nebula surrounding a 7.9 magnitude star in Ophiuchus, just right of centre. Capella have a nice close-up image of the area immediately around the star, HD147889, which is about 385 light-years away.
Patrick has chosen the same patch of sky this month for his globluar clusters: M4 is about 2° to the south and M80 is 1½° to the north-east. The area to the west of IC4603 is rich in double stars according to the Washington Double Star Catalog, many of which are bright and in this image with separations that make them good targets for modest telescopes.
James Whinfrey - Website Administrator.