Oblivious to their surroundings, locked in perpetual combat, Godzilla and Monster X fight their eternal battle to the death under the stars of Ara.

NGC 6188 is a star-forming nebula, sculpted by the massive, young stars that have recently formed there.
The swirling clouds of gas and dust in Ara somehow turn molecular clouds into a work of art,  with extraordinary torn and fragmented structures.

This is my 4th visit to this spectacular region – each time with a different OTA, and I’m delighted with this result!
I’ve worked hard to balance the three emissions present and endeavoured to retain as much detail as possible without generating ‘false” details or artifacts.

A whiff of highpass has subtly helped the 3D appearance of the reef.

This is process #6 for this set, each time adding more and more data from my suburban backyard until I was satisfied that all the nebulosity was revealed even in the deepest regions.

Hope you enjoy the image!
Andy – Melbourne, Australia 2022

Australian Photographic Prize Winner – Nature Category 2022

NGC 6188 Nebula
Fighting Dragons of Ara

Capture Details

TelescopeTakahashi TOA 130 with TOA-35 Reducer
CameraQSI 6162 WSG8
MountIoptron CEM70G
FiltersChroma RG&B, 5nm Ha & S2, 3nm O3
Guiding CameraStarlight Xpress Lodestar X2
Integration time (Exposure)26.0 hrs
LocationBurwood, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
DateMay, 2022

About this Nebula

Do dragons fight on the altar of the sky? Although it might appear that way, these dragons are illusions made of thin gas and dust. The emission nebula NGC 6188, home to the glowing clouds, is found about 4,000 light-years away near the edge of a large molecular cloud unseen at visible wavelengths, in the southern constellation Ara (the Altar). Massive, young stars of the embedded Ara OB1 association were formed in that region only a few million years ago, sculpting the dark shapes and powering the nebular glow with stellar winds and intense ultraviolet radiation. The recent star formation itself was likely triggered by winds and supernova explosions, from previous generations of massive stars, that swept up and compressed the molecular gas. Joining NGC 6188 on this cosmic canvas, visible toward the lower right, is a rare emission nebula NGC 6164, also created by one of the region’s massive O-type stars. Similar in appearance to many planetary nebulae, NGC 6164’s striking, symmetric gaseous shroud and faint halo surround its bright central star near the bottom edge. This impressively wide field of view spans over 2 degrees (four full Moons), corresponding to over 150 light-years at the estimated distance of NGC 6188.

Dawn of the Monsters

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“The arrogance of men is thinking nature is in their control and not the other way around. Let them fight.”
- Dr.Ishiro Seriwaza. Godzilla 2014