Thick blankets of dust surround the predominantly dark region in Barnard 343, a dark nebula in the constellation Cygnus.
Astrophotographer Jeffrey O. Johnson took this image from his backyard in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
"I took this image after I found the dark area when looking at a star map (Google Sky) and looking specifically for dark nebulae. I thought it was fascinating, though I never saw a clear image of it, so I decided to image it myself. It is still one of my favorite objects," Johnson wrote in an email to Space.com. [100 Amazing Night Sky Photos]
Barnard 343 belongs to the Gamma Cygni Complex – a group of clouds in Cygnus approximately 2,000 light-years away. A light-year is the distance light travels in one year, or about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers).
The brilliant red regions are caused by a large amount of hydrogen emissions present in the visible part of the spectrum. Johnson used a Takahashi TOA-130F @ f/7.7 telescope with a Takahashi EM200 Temma II Mount with a QSI 540wsg @ -15C camera.
You can see more amazing night sky photos by our readers in our astrophotography archive here.
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