Here are the final stacked and post-processed images (different color edits) of the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex by Al Sadeem Astronomy Observatory’s owner/co-founder Thabet Al Qaissieh taken on the clear evening of May 20, 2018 using the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with Samyang 135mm lens mounted on IOptron sky tracker mount.

The vibrant and colorful Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex is situated about 460 light-years away from Earth in the Ophiuchus – Scorpio region in the sky, making it one of the closest star-forming regions to the Solar System.

It comprises of a variety of deep-sky objects such as the bluish reflection nebula IC 4605 in which the light from its companion bluish star i Sco bounces off the gas cloud which makes it glow, the red emission nebula NGC 4606 which was being illuminated by the stellar wind of the red super-giant star Antares, two nearby background globular clusters Messier 4  (situated about 7,000 light-years away from Earth) and NGC 6144, both lying far beyond the colorful cloud complex, and the long silhouette shaped dense interstellar dust region known as the “Dark River” stretching about 100 light- years across from Dark Pipe Nebula (B44) to the cloud complex.

This beautiful cloud complex is found just 1° south of the magnitude +4.95 triple star ρ Ophiuchi. Simplicity speaking, just point your small telescope (with focal length of less than 1000 mm) or a typical camera zoom lens at Antares (in Scorpio). Long exposure shots will reveal the spectacular nebulosity around this area.

Finder Star Chart of Rho Ophiuchi (Image Credit from IAU/Sky & Telescope)