Star Cluster Messier 22 Along With The Wanderers Saturn And Mars

By | April 16, 2018
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Wandering through the constellation Sagittarius, bright planets Mars and Saturn appeared together in early morning skies over the last weeks of March 2018.

They are captured in this 3 degree wide field-of-view from March 31 in a close celestial triangle with large globular Star Cluster Messier 22.

Star Cluster Messier 22 (M22)

Star Cluster Messier 22 (M22)

Of course, Messier 22 (bottom left) is about 10,000 light-years distant, a massive ball of over 100,000 stars much older than our Sun.

Pale yellow and shining by reflected sunlight, Saturn (on top) is about 82 light-minutes away.

Look carefully and you can spot large moon Titan as a pinpoint of light at about the 5 o’clock position in the glare of Saturn’s overexposed disk.

Slightly brighter and redder Mars is 9 light-minutes distant.

While both planets are moving on toward upcoming oppositions, by July Mars will become much brighter still, with good telescopic views near its 2018 opposition a mere 3.2 light-minutes from planet Earth.

Image Credit & Copyright: Damian Peach

via Astronomy Picture of the Day

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