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Scorpius, "The Scorpion," is one of the most prominent summer constellations. North is toward the top of this image. Scorpius is dominated by the first-magnitude orange-red star Antares, which means "Rival of Mars."  The region around Antares and Rho Ophiuchi is filled with nebulosity, some of which can be seen faintly in this image. Numerous star clusters and emission nebulae can be seen near the stars which form the "stinger" in the lower left portion of the image. To the left of the end of the stinger (Lambda Scorpii) are the large open cluster M7 and the smaller open cluster M6. Just to the right of M6 are the open cluster NGC 6383 and its associated faint red nebulosity. To the lower right of NGC 6383 are the red emission nebulae NGC 6357 and NGC 6334. The bottom center portion of the image contains the open clusters H12 and NGC 6231 and the emission nebula IC 4628. When viewed with the naked-eye these objects resemble a comet, so sometimes they are collectively referred to as the "False Comet."

Equipment: Nikon 50 mm/1.8 lens/STL-11000M/Astrodon LRGB filters/Losmandy G-11/Gemini
F-ratio: f/4
Exposures: LRGB: L 8 x 2 minutes: R 11 x 2 minutes: G 11 x 2 minutes: B 11 x 2 minutes: RGB binned 2x2
Date: July 3, 2008
Location: Landers, California, USA
Technical Notes: Three exposures for each color were taken through a diffusion filter, which both enlarged the images and enhanced the colors of the bright stars. A second RGB image was created using these exposures, which was digitally composited with the luminance and unfiltered RGB exposures using the Lighten function in Photoshop CS2.
Russell Croman's GradientXTerminator plug-in for Photoshop was used to remove light pollution gradients.

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