by Harley White

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Our parent galaxy Milky Way
has a nebula giving birth
to stars neath ‘baby blanket’ array
that’s one of the closest to Earth

of astral-forming regions around—
Rho Ophiuchi Complex Cloud,
named for the bright stellar body found
in its picturesque dusty shroud.

The colorful image multi-hued
within Ophiuchus was spied,
a constellation in south skies viewed
to the Greek Asclepius tied,

in mythology as healer known
whose medicines cured afflictions,
thus among stars ‘serpent bearer’ shown
holding a snake in depictions.

Often as symbol of evil used,
albeit fertility too,
with remedies this serpent’s infused
in lore from which Ptolemy drew.

The Complex three nebulae contains,
emission, reflection, and dark,
with fourteen light-years across domains
where myriad starlets embark.

Varied wavelengths are captured in tints
of infrared made seeable
via NASA’s WISE or wide-field glints
celestially agreeable.

Indeed there are countless treasure troves
as yet undiscovered in space
of cosmic coves and galactic groves
for telescope gazers to trace.

Yet where but our planetary home
in this Goldilocks favored place
under a lapis lazuli dome
can we dwell in nature’s embrace?

~ Harley White

* * * * * * * * *

Some sources of inspiration derived from the following images and articles, among others… 

Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex…
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rho_Ophiuchi_cloud_complex 

The Rho Ophiuchi Cloud Complex, a dark nebula in Ophiuchus…
http://annesastronomynews.com/annes-image-of-the-day-the-rho-ophiuchi-cloud-complex-2/

WISE Unveils a Treasure Trove of Beauty…
https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/WISE/multimedia/gallery/pia13974.html

Young Stars in the Rho Ophiuchi Cloud…
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110414.html

Image info ~ This image is taken with NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Explorer, or WISE. The colors used in this image represent specific wavelengths of infrared light. Blue and cyan (blue-green) represent light emitted at wavelengths of 3.4 and 4.6 microns, which is predominantly from stars. Green and red represent light from 12 and 22 microns, respectively, which is mostly emitted by dust.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team

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