Deepscape at Yacoraite. Image Credit & Copyright: Franco Meconi.
What are we seeing in today's APOD?
Well, in the upper left quadrant we are seeing the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex. In fact, you can picture the whole thing as a horse, which is somehow missing much of its middle part.
But you can see its blue head, its yellow rump and its faint, very bushy pink tail. And you can see its long dark legs, stretching far away down to the plane of the Milky Way. Note that the horse is rearing its head.
Let's look a bit more at the picture by Keyu's Blog at right. The Blue Horse (or its head) at far left is centered on star Nu Scorpii. The eye of the Horse is staring at star Beta Scorpii. The bright blue blob in the middle of the horse is the large reflection nebula centered on Rho Ophiuchi. The blue star with a smallish ring of pink nebulosity around it is Sigma Scorpii. The yellow blob to the right of Sigma Scorpii is globular cluster M4. The bright yellow star which is sitting in a "sea of yellow" nebulosity is Antares. The blue star with a large faint blob of pink around it is Tau Scorpii.
And what is the bright yellow-orange "star" at lower center-left? Well, I guess it's Mars!
is another picture of the entire nebular horse-structure in Scorpius, minus Mars, which I think can be distracting. The picture is by Naskies.
In the picture at left you can see Mu1 and Mu2 Scorpii, two blue B-type stars that are so close together that the Khoikhoi people of South Africa call them xami di mura
, 'eyes of the lion'.
In 2016, the IAU organized a Working Group on Star Names (WGSN) to catalog and standardize proper names for stars. The WGSN decided to attribute proper names to individual stars rather than entire multiple systems. It approved the name Xamidimura for the component Mu¹ Scorpii Aa on 5 September 2017 (along with Pipirima for the partner of Mu¹ Scorpii) and it is now so included in the List of IAU-approved Star Names.
The name Pipirima for Mu2 Scorpii refers to a legend about two children, a boy and a girl, who run away from their parents and become stars in the sky.
In the picture at right by Tunc Tezel you can see Mu1 and Mu2 Scorpii at upper right. To the lower left of Mu1 and Mu2 Scorpii is cluster NGC 6242. To the lower left of NGC 6242 is red emission nebula IC 4628, and just above the trees you can see bright star cluster NGC 6231.
In the APOD, you can see Mu1 and Mu2 Scorpii at far right. To the right of them is cluster NGC 6242.
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