Barnard 72
The Snake Nebula

45 minutes exposure. Fuji Super HG II 400 film.
5" f/5 refractor at prime focus.

E. E. Barnard pioneered the use of wide field photography of the Milky Way. As part of his research, he catalogued numerous dark nebulae, particularly in the Scorpius/Sagittarius region. One of the more curious nebulae he photographed was B72, more commonly known as the Snake Nebula. This object is visible in a 10" telescope as a very faint darkening, however the "S" shape that gives the object its name, is really only apparent in photographs.

The bright star at the lower right is theta ophiuchi, while the dark patch at the left edge is part of the Pipe Nebula .