B 72 (LDN 66, aka "Snake") Dark Nebula in Ophiuchus

Center of field at approximately: RA 17 hours 23 minutes 40 seconds, Dec -23 degrees 31 minutes 00 seconds

Size: -- Magnitude: -- Class: 6 S G

North is up

West to the right


 8" f5 Newtonian reflector


 ST-8XME, self-guided, binned 1x1, temp -20c, camera control MaxIm DL 4.55


 Red (Hoya 25A) filter, 250 minutes (25 x 10 minute subs), 08/25/26/2006


 CCDStack 1.1, Photoshop 7.0


  Rolling Roof Observatory, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360 (+34d 13m 29s -118h 52m 20s)

Notes: This amazing area of the southern Milky Way lies a little north of the midpoint of a line between the Globular Cluster M 4 and the M 8 / M 20 complex. There are many dark nebula in this area, with B 72 being perhaps the most photogenic. B 68 is the very dark spot at the lower right of B 72. See this link to my 14.5" Newtonian film shot.

This description from the on-line Edward Emerson Barnard "A Photographic Atlas of Selected Regions of The Milky Way":

α(2000)17h 23m 36s, δ(2000) -23 38
Galactic Coordinates 2,+7
 S-shaped. This is a striking object. It is a thin, curved black marking, the exact form of the letter S or the figure 5, as the imagination or point of view may dictate. The southeast branch runs east for some distance passing close south of the star CD-2313375 (9.1 mag). Its average thickness is about 2' - 3'. The position in the catalogue is for the southern part of the figure, or the bottom of the S (see Astrophysical Journal, 49, 1919, Plate III)