NGC 6188 Fighting Dragons of Ara

NGC 6188 Fighting Dragons of Ara

NGC 6188, NGC 6193 and NGC 6164/5 in Ara

Constellation: Ara
Ra: 16h 39m 43s
Dec: -48d 30m 18s
Distance: 4,000 light years
Image Size: 2.59 x 2.43 deg
North: Up, East Left



NGC 6188 is an emission nebula in the southern constellation of Ara about 4,000 light years distant. The above widefield image is 2.59 x 2.43 degrees, spanning the size of about 5 full moons, with North up and East to the left. That corresponds to 170 light years across at the distance of NGC 6188. It runs N-S at the center of the image and is located at the eastern edge of a large molecular cloud of hydrogen. The nebula is illuminated by the bright cluster, NGC 6193, toward the East just to the left of center. The cloud just above center gives the appearance of a dragon swooping down from the sky above another dragon. As such, this region is often referred to as The Fighting Dragons of Ara.

The young, massive O-type stars in NGC 6193 both ionize and illuminate the eastern edge of NGC 6188, as shown by the glow, and the intense ultra-violet radiation sculpts the dusty cloud, like the Horsehead Nebula (IC 434). It is thought that the recent star formation likely originated by strong stellar winds and supernova explosions from previous generations of massive stars.

The bifurcated emission nebula, NGC 6164-6165 is located northwest of NGC 6188, toward the upper right in the image. Originally thought to be a planetary nebula, the core appears to have two nearly symmetrical lobes projecting out from the central star, HD 148937, which is a young O-type star 40 times more massive than our sun. In addition to the nearly symmetrical lobes, but further out, there is a bluish ionized oxygen (OIII) cloud representing an early expulsive event.

This is a false color image that uses narrowband filters to enhance the varied structures. Sulfur (SII), Hydrogen-alpha (H-a) and doubly ionized oxygen (OIII) were color-mapped to red, green and blue, respectively, often times referred to as the Hubble Color Palette. 11.6 hours of narrowband exposures were augmented by 3 hours of RGB data for star colors.

Exposure: 14.6 hrs Total; 3.3 hrs H-a, 3 hrs OIII, 5.3 hrs SII, 3 hrs RGB
Telescope: Takahashi TOA130 super-reduced f/5.9 762 mm
Mount: Software Bisque Paramount ME
Oag: BORG 250 Guide Scope
Acquisition: ACP
Calibration: MaximDL
Observatory Site: T10,, Siding Spring, NSW, Australia
Camera: SBIG STX16803
Filters: Astrodon Gen 2 E-Series RGB, 3 nm OIII, SII and H-a
Guider: Starlight Xpress Lodestar SX2
Camera Operation: MaximDL
Processing: CCD Stack 2.0; Photoshop CC 2021
Image Date: 04/19/2021 - 05/17/2021

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