Star Cluster Messier 22 Along With The Wanderers Saturn And Mars

Star Cluster Messier 22 (M22)


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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