Image number 4 captured under the incredibly dark skies at Oregon Star Party last week. This image features several clouds of interstellar dust that appear as reflection and absorption nebulae, centered on the reflection nebula van den Bergh 126, and surrounded by several absorption nebulae that appear in the Lynd’s Dark Nebula and Lynd’s Bright Nebula catalog. I also created an annotated version showing the location of several of the objects in the field of view.
To understand what you are looking at it may help to refer back to the previous picture of M31 and the handy map of the Milky Way galaxy provided by NASA* on the right (with my own annotations). The M31 image shows the galaxy core consisting of billions of stars that appear to merge into a continuous yellow-white glow. You can also see several lanes of brownish dust that lie between the spiral arms of the galaxy. The picture here shows what we see looking towards the core of our own galaxy from our vantage point in one of the middle spiral arms of our own galaxy; a background of billions of stars obscured by some wisps of interstellar dust that lie between us and the galactic core. The green arrow on the map shows the approximate direction that we are looking.
|Mount||Astro-Physics Mach1 GTO|
|Luminance||11 x 600s @ 1×1|
|Red||6 x 300s @ 2×2|
|Green||6 x 300s @ 2×2|
|Blue||6 x 300s @ 2×2|
* Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC-Caltech). Used in accordance with the Caltech image use policy