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Reflection nebulae in NGC 6188

Date created: 1987-11-25

Tags: nebula, dust, reflection

Ara is a small constellation in the southern Milky Way, and devoid of bright stars. The fainter stars seen here are cool, like those that orbit the inner 'bulge' of the Milky Way, and appear slightly yellow on colour pictures. The foreground patch of dust that crosses this photograph must be illuminated by energetic radiation from stars that are much hotter than those in the background because hydrogen, which is associated with the dust, has been excited into a vivid red fluorescence by absorbing the invisible ultraviolet light. Here and there a few bright but cooler stars are caught up in the outskirts of dust clouds and some of their light is scattered to produce the blue reflection nebulae.

Photograph made from plates taken in June, 1987.
Top left is NE. Image width is about 37 arc min.

Credit: David Malin

© Australian Astronomical Observatory