Credit: Ryan Hannahoe and Rob Gendler
Thanks to Ryan Hannahoe and Rob Gendler for sending this fantastic image of the Cats Paw Nebula (NGC 6334) and the Lobster Nebula (NGC 6357) in Scorpius. These two huge emission nebulae are star forming regions, clouds of hydrogen gas in which gravity is compressing the nebulosity into infant suns.
The nebulae lie in the Sagittarius Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy at a distance of about 5,500 light-years. In this image, made with telescopes at the Fair Dinkum Skies Observatory in Australia and New Mexico Skies Observatory, north is at top and east to the left. The bright stars Lambda and Nu Scorpii at bottom left, shining at magnitudes 1.6 and 4.0, respectively, mark the end of the Scorpion’s tail.
The scattered suns of the faint cluster Harvard 16 lie just north of the two bright stars.
What a great image — thanks for sharing, guys!