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NGC 6334 and NGC 6357 - cat's paw and lobster - in the constellation Scorpion

Object description:

Our mosaic of 2 shows the Cat's Paw Nebula (NGC 6334, bottom right of mosaic) and the Lobster Nebula (NGC 6357), taken with 500mm focal length. At first glance it seems to be a double nebula, but a look at the distance of the two H-II regions gives a different picture. They are so close together in the sky only by chance, because NGC 6334 is about 5500- and NGC 6357 about 8000 lightyears away from the solar system.
Both are star forming regions with a real diameter of about 50 light years. They appear reddish to us, although there are also blue and green light components, which are however strongly scattered by dark dust and gas clouds, which lie between our solar system and the H-II regions. And so mainly the reddish part of the light reaches the observer on Earth. The regions were discovered on June 7 and 8, 1837 by John Herschel during his observations in South Africa.

Both nebular regions we also photographed separately with longer focal length, there you can find detailed object descriptions: NGC 6357 here and NGC 6334 her.

More images and descriptions can be found at ESO, for NGC 6334 here and for NGC 6357 here.

We can also show both H-II regions as narrowband images, the cat's paw (NGC 6334) (NGC 6334) here and the lobster (NGC 6357) here.

« Click here or the thumbnail to load a large annoted image and a size comparison to the full moon.

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