NGC 6357

January 27, 2017

Broadly en route to Sagittarius A* and Jaques I come across a navigation point many other explorers have logged, the wonderful nebula NGC 6357 also known as the Lobster Nebula. Wikipedia places this nebula in the constellation Scorpius and describes it as containing many protostars shielded by dark disks of gas.

You can see from the picture below the depiction within Elite Dangerous is quite accurate. As I flew through the nebula the intensity of the starfield and ambient light faded, leaving me surrounded by a velvety cocoon. Some notable stars are those three belonging to the Pismus 24 cluster. If I have time I’ll make the effort to visit them as these are alleged to be the biggest stars on record.

View of NGC 6357, you can see the protostars within

For comparison, the write up in EDDiscovery states:

NGC 6357 (inc. The Pismis Open Star Cluster embedded within) A highly distinctive nebula situated on the near edge of the Norma arm. Due to its prominence, NGC 6357 acts as a navigational marker for explorers heading to the galactic core regions.

The most recent authoritative article on NGC 6357 was on SciNews where they discuss a composite image of the nebula released by NASA. It’s amazingly colorful as you can imagine and you can find that here.

Closer view of NGC6357 looking toward galactic center

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