NGC 6520 (North Up, East Left)
NGC 6520 is an open cluster in the constellation of Sagittarrius.  To its west is the dark nebula Barnard 86.  Both objects lie at a distance of 6,000 light-years.  The pair are set against some of the brightest parts of the milky way - the large Sagittarius star cloud. Barnard 86 is a cold, dark, dense cloud made up of small dust grains that block starlight and make the region appear opaque. It is thought to have formed from the remnants of a molecular cloud that collapsed to form the nearby star cluster NGC 6520.  The stars that appear to be within Barnard 86 in the image above are in fact in front of it, lying between us and the dark cloud. This image comprises 12 x Luminance (30 seconds each) and 6 x Red, Green and Blue (30,  32 and 28 seconds each), 0.5m f/2.9 ASA Astrograph with FLI ML3200 camera at an altitude of 30 degrees on 25 April 2017. The fields of view of the images at the top and bottom are 34’ x 23’ and 18’ x 12’ respectively.
Hills Observatory: 1 January 2013 to 6 May 2018