Rho Ophiuchi molecular cloud
The Rho Ophiuchi complex, a large stellar nursery in the constellation Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer, as viewed by ESA's Gaia satellite using information from the mission's second data release.
This view is not a photograph but has been compiled by mapping the total amount of radiation detected by Gaia in each pixel, combined with measurements of the radiation taken through different filters on the spacecraft to generate colour information.
The image is dominated by the brightest, most massive stars; in some spots, these stars outshine their less bright, lower-mass counterparts.
Five bright stellar clusters stand out in this view: the brightest one, towards the right of the frame, is the globular cluster M4.
Acknowledgement: Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC); A. Moitinho / A. F. Silva / M. Barros / C. Barata, University of Lisbon, Portugal; H. Savietto, Fork Research, Portugal.
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