Mars Between The M8 Lagoon and M20 Trifid Nebulas

Mars Between The M8 Lagoon and M20 Trifid Nebulas

 

What’s that bright red spot between the Lagoon and Trifid Nebulas?

Well, of course, it’s our friendly neighborhood red planet: Mars!

Mars Between The M8 Lagoon and M20 Trifid Nebulas
Mars Between The M8 Lagoon and M20 Trifid Nebulas

This gorgeous color deep-sky photograph captured the red planet passing between the two notable nebulas — cataloged by the 18th-century cosmic registrar Charles Messier as M8 and M20. 

M20 (upper right of center), the Trifid Nebula, presents a striking contrast in red/blue colors and dark dust lanes.

Across the bottom right is the expansive, alluring red glow of M8, the Lagoon Nebula.

Both nebulae are a few thousand light-years distant. By comparison, temporarily situated between them both, is the dominant “local” celestial beacon, Mars.

When this image was taken, the red planet was only about 10 light-minutes away.

Image Credit: Sebastian Voltmer

via Astronomy Picture of the Day

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