Rho Ophiuchi molecular cloud – star density
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 density of stars detected by Gaia in each pixel.
The image shows the distribution of all stars in the area, and clearly outlines the silhouette of dark clouds of gas and dust hiding background stars from view.
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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