"Near & Far"
Honourable Mention - Deep Sky category, 2010 CWAS David Malin Awards
Published on the back cover of Astronomy 2010 Australia
This is a full scale crop of http://upload.pbase.com/gailmarc/image/114309701/large
This region lies near the northern boundary of Corona Australis. It's around 500 light-years away and the dark areas are dust clouds blocking light from more distant, background stars in the Milky Way.
The visble nebulae are NGC 6726 & 6727 (upper blue nebula), 6729 (nebula slightly below and to the left), and IC 4812 (lower blue nebula).
NGC 6729 surrounds the young variable star R Coronae Australis.
The characteristic blue color is produced when light from hot stars is reflected from cosmic dust.
The magnificent globular cluster NGC 6723 is at the upper right corner of the view and lies about 30,000 light years away.