The European Southern Observatory has recently released a stunning photograph in the southern constellation of Ara, or “The Altar”. This area has long been known to contain a vast amount of different celestial objects, but until now, no single image has been produced of the region.
Using their aptly named Very Large Telescope (VLT), the ESO compiled this single image from over five hundred individual pictures taken over a fifty-six hour period. The picture was achieved using four different color filters by the telescope.
At the center of the image is the open star cluster NGC 6193, containing around 30 bright stars and forming the heart of the Ara OB1 association. The two brightest stars are hot giant stars. Together, they provide the main source of illumination for the nearby emission nebula, the Rim Nebula (NGC 6188), which is visible to the right of the cluster.
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