RCW 71 - Emission Nebula in the constellation Southern Cross

This small emission nebula is located in the northern part of the "Coal Sack", a large dark cloud in the constellation Southern Cross. However, both objects meet only by chance, because RCW 71 lies in a much more distant part of the Milky Way.

At the bottom of the image the reddish star RX Crucis can be seen. It is very old giant star, with a considerable amount of carbon in its upper gas layers. From this, various molecules are formed which absorb blue and yellow light and make the star appear in deep red color.

larger image
Optics: Planewave CDK 12.5 with Televue 0.8x reducer
Aperture: 318 mm
Focal Length: 2030 mm
Camera: Alccd12
Exposure: 35 x 600 s
Location: Chamaeleon Observatory, Onjala Lodge, Namibia
Processing: Nebulosity, Starnet++, Photoshop
Diameter:2 light years
Distance:5,600 light years
annotated image

image field in the sky