Antares and starfield

Antares and starfield

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Credit: LUKE DODD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Starfield centred on the border between the constellations of Ophiucus (right) and Scorpius (left). The brightest star at centre left is Antares (alpha Scorpii), a red supergiant star 500 light years from the Earth. The red supergiant phase is one of the final stages in the life of a normal star. Antares has a surface temperature of 3100K and a mass 10-15 times the solar mass. It is seen embedded in a reflection nebula (IC 4606), a cloud of dust which reflects towards the Earth the radiation emitted by Antares and nearby stars. Two globular star clusters are seen in this frame: the smaller NGC 6144 is at centre left and the larger M4 at lower centre right.

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Keywords: alpha scorpii, antares, astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, cosmos, field, globular star cluster, ic 4606, m4, nebula, ngc 6144, outer space, red supergiant, reflection, reflection nebula, science, scorpius, star evolution, starfield antares, starry sky, stars, stellar

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