Dark Nebula and Open Cluster (B 86, NGC 6520)

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About this Image

In this extremely dense star field towards the center of our galaxy, the open cluster NGC6520 and the dark Nebula Barnard 86 are resembling a pair with striking contrast. On the left is a young star cluster, NGC 6520. The hot, blue stars of the cluster are relatively young.
To the right is Barnard 86, a dark nebula, also known as Ink Spot Nebula. This cloud of relatively dense gas and dust, apparently a remnant of the formation of NGC 6520, blocks the light from the star cloud beyond. The cluster is situated in the constellation of Sagittarius at a distance of 5300 light years.
North is up.

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Technical Details


TEC-140 APO refractor with TEC flattener at f/7

Mount AP-400 GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M at -20C, internal filter wheel
Filters Astronomik LRGB
Date May 29, 2006.
Location Hakos/Namibia
Sky Conditions mag 7, high transparency, temperature 15 C,
Exposure L:R:G:B = 20:30:30:30 minutes (10-minute sub-exposures),
all 1x1.
Processing Image aquisition, calibration and color synthesis in Maxim DL 4.11;
Photoshop: curves, color balance;