What’s that bright red spot between the Lagoon and Trifid Nebulas?
Well, of course, it’s our friendly neighborhood red planet: Mars!
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
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