The central band of the Milky Way is connected to the star Antares by a band of dust called "the Black River".
The Black River is a cosmic cloud that connects the Pipe Nebula to a colorful region near the bright star Antares in the constellation Scorpius. The opacity of the Black River is due to the absorption of background starlight by cosmic dust. The Pipe Nebula is also a dark nebula in the constellation Serpentarius. This cloud of gas and dust extends over a huge territory in the sky and it belongs to an even larger complex nicknamed Dark Horse Nebula.
Despite its darkness, observers can easily spot the Pipe Nebula with the naked eye from the shadows of city lights. It is located about a third of the way between the Lagoon Nebula and the star Antares. When looking at the Pipe Nebula, two distinctive features stand out. One represents the stem and the other the bowl of the pipe.
The opaque nebula drawn by the pipe smoke is a cloud that absorbs light from the background stars of the Milky Way. Astrophotography pioneer Edward Emerson Barnard cataloged a series of dark nebulae, Barnard 59, 65, 66, 67 (the pipe stem) also known as LDN 1773 and Barnard 78 (the pipe hearth) also known as LDN 42.