Pictures of NGC 6188
Facts about and images of NGC 6188, a nebula known as the Fighting Dragons of Ara.
The Fighting Dragons of Ara may sound like a Tom Baker-era Doctor Who story, but it is in fact probably one of the best nicknames given to any deep-sky astronomical object.
NGC 6188 is an active star-forming region, and newborn stellar giants carve out the incredible shapes seen in the dark cosmic dust, and cause surrounding gas to glow by blasting it with streams of charged particles known as stellar winds.
NGC 6188 is about 600 lightyears across, and its nickname is undoubtedly a result of astronomers observing the nebula and seeing two dragons facing off within the twists and curls of the dark dust.
Below is a selection of images of the Fighting Dragons captured by astrophotographers and BBC Sky at Night Magazine readers.