520 light-years

The dusty region between the constellations Ophiuchus (the snake-holder) and Scorpius (the scorpion) contains some of the most colourful and spectacular nebulae ever photographed. The blue glow in the upper part of this picture is light reflected from stars embedded in dust. This dust is also seen as a dark cloud hiding the light of background stars, especially in the middle left of the picture. The lower part of the cosmic landscape is dominated by the giant star Antares whose yellow glow is reflected by dust that the star itself has created.

Credit: Anglo / Australian Observatory / David Malin.