Pipe Nebula

Pipe Nebula

The Pipe Nebula and environs captured by the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory.

Location of the Pipe Nebula

Location of the Pipe (red circle).

The Pipe Nebula is an interconnected series of dark nebulae which appears as a sinuous rift in the star fields of Ophiuchus. The blackest, central portion is shaped somewhat like an old-fashioned smoker's pipe, but the whole structure extends from the region of the Rho Ophiuchi Nebula and the Lagoon Nebula, and takes in a number of dark nebulae, including Barnard 59 (at the western tip of the Pipe, just south of NGC 6293), 65, 66, 67, 77, 244, and 256. It lies at a distance of 600–700 light-years and spans about six light-years.