Pipe Nebula

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Pipe Nebula
Barnard 59, part of a vast dark cloud.jpg
Pipe Nebula captured by the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope.[1]
Observation data (Epoch J2000)
Type Dark
Right ascension 17h 27m
Declination −26° 56′
Distance (ly) 600 to 700
Apparent magnitude (V)
Apparent dimensions (V) Pipe Stem 300′ x 60′
Pipe Bowl 200′ x 140′
Constellation Ophiuchus
Physical characteristics
Absolute magnitude (V)
Notable features
Other designations Barnard 59, 65–67, & 78;
LDN 1773; LDN 42
See also: Dark nebula, Lists of nebulae

The Pipe Nebula (also known as Barnard 59, 65–67, and 78) is a dark nebula in the Ophiuchus constellation and a part of the Dark Horse Nebula. It is a large but readily apparent pipe shaped dust lane that obscures the Milky Way star clouds behind it. Clearly visible to the naked eye in the Southern United States under clear dark skies, but it is best viewed with 7x binoculars.

The nebula has two main parts: the Pipe Stem with an opacity of 6 which is composed of Barnard 59, 65, 66, and 67 (also known as LDN 1773) 300′ x 60′ RA: 17h 21m Dec: −27° 23′; and the Bowl of the Pipe with an opacity of 5 which is composed of Barnard 78 (also known as LDN 42) 200′ x 140′ RA: 17h 33m Dec: −26° 30′.

The Pipe Nebula forms the hind quarters of the even larger Dark Horse Nebula and in the Southern Hemisphere (where it appears upside down) forms the beak of the Milky Way Kiwi.


  1. ^ "Ceci N’est Pas Une Pipe". ESO Press Release. Retrieved 20 August 2012.