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James Peirce

Location of Photo:

Uinta Mountains, Utah, United States

Date/Time of photo:

July 21, 2023


StellarVue SVX080T-35V, 0.8x Reducer, ZWO ASI2600MC Pro, Rainbow Astro RST-135E


“The Snake Nebula” (Barnard 72) is our dark “S”-shaped friend just left of center and is located in the constellation Ophiuchus. Our snake’s neighboring inky splotches each has their own designation in the Barnard catalog (20th century astronomer E. E. Barnard’s catalog of 182 dark markings in the sky) and collectively they form a part of the much larger “Dark Horse Nebula,” which, to the naked eye under dark skies, takes on the appearance of a horse. These interstellar clouds of gas and dust obscure light from stars behind them, thus taking on this backlit appearance, as if resting atop a sea of stars. Relative to our vantage point on Earth, this view is looking toward the core of the Milky Way, hence the incredible density of stars.