JOHN SANFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN SANFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Optical photograph of the red supergiant star Antares (centre), with the M4 globular star cluster (also known as NGC 6121) to its right. Antares is the brightest star in the constellation of Scorpius. It is a first magnitude, distinctly red star whose naked eye appearance is similar to that of Mars - hence its name, which means "Rival to Mars". Antares is both a binary star (orbiting an unseen close companion) & a variable one (its brightness varying by about one magnitude in an irregular manner over an average period of 1733 days). Schmidt, 8 min. May 1979.
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