fr en es pt
Contact the author rss astronoo

Black river

Black river and Milky Way

 Automatic translation  Automatic translation Updated June 01, 2013

The central band of the Milky Way is related to Antares by a dust lane named "Black River".
Black River is a cosmic cloud that connects the Pipe Nebula, the colored region located near the bright star Antares in the constellation Scorpius.
The opacity of the Black River is caused by the absorption of the starlight background by cosmic dust. This nebula contains mostly hydrogen and molecular gas.
The red supergiant Antares, is surrounded by dust which forms a reflection nebula, whose color is yellow, bottom right image.
Just above the bright blue double star Rho Ophiuchi is wrapped in a molecular cloud, a blue reflection nebula, while the emission nebulae, red, dot the area.


The globular cluster M4 red is visible just above and right of Antares, with a distance estimated at about 7,000 light-years more distant than the other colored clouds.
As for the Black River, it lies about 500 light years. This colorful celestial landscape is in the constellation Scorpius, this mosaic of images taken with the telescope covers a field of almost 10 degrees, the equivalent of 20 full moons.

Image: Credit: ESA, Hubble, NASA

 Black River near antares - Pipe Nebula

Zoom in on the Pipe Nebula


The Pipe Nebula is a dark nebula in the constellation Ophiuchus.
This cloud of gas and dust spread over a vast territory in the sky, and it belongs to an even larger complex known as Dark Horse Nebula. Despite its darkness, observers can easily locate the Pipe Nebula to the naked eye, away from city lights. It is located about one third of the way between the Lagoon Nebula and the star Antares. When we look at the Pipe Nebula, two elements stand out distinctively. One is the pipe and the other bowl of the pipe.


The nebula opaque drawn by the smoke of the pipe is a cloud that absorbs the light of background stars in the Milky Way.
Edward Emerson Barnard, the pioneer of astrophotography, cataloged a series of dark nebula, Barnard 59, 65, 66, 67 (hose pipe), also known as LDN 1773 and Barnard 78 (home to the pipe) , also known as LDN 42.

Image: The dark cloud of the Pipe Nebula. Credit ESO GigaGalaxy Zoom

 Pipe Nebula

1997 © − Astronomy, Astrophysics, Evolution and Ecology.
"The data available on this site may be used provided that the source is duly acknowledged."