Barnard 72 - a sinuous clump of carbon dust and dark interstellar hydrogen known as the Snake Nebula - is one of hundreds of dark nebula scattered throughout the Milky Way, only seen because of the stars they block out from our view here on earth. The Snake Nebula is about 650 light years from earth in the constelation of Ophiuchus, and appears (at least in our line of sight) just to the west of the much larger Pipe Nebula complex - which is composed of more than half a dozen more Barnard dark nebulae.
Losmandy G-11 Gemini, Takahashi Epsilon 130 (430mm, f/3.3), SBIG ST-4000 XCM. 40 minutes total exposure time taken 06-08-08 from Mt. Laguna, CA.