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Mosaic of Jupiter and the large Antares nebula region

Description of object:

The surrounding of Antares, the brightest star in the constellation Scorpio, is one of the most colorful regions in the sky. Besides typical blue reflection nebulae (IC 4604 + IC 4605) the orange supergiant Antares of spectral type M0 also illuminates the dust surrounding it and produces a rare yellow reflection nebula (IC 4606). In between are embedded only dimly illuminated dark nebulae. These absorb to a large extent the light of the distant background stars and thus become "visible". On the right, the blue star sigma Scorpii can ionize part of the adjacent gases by its strong UV radiation and is responsible for the red emission nebula (Sh2-9).

Each star associated with these nebulae belongs to a large group of young suns, the Scorpius-Centaurus association. It lies at a distance of about 600 light-years from the solar system.

Messier 4 (NGC 6121) is a globular cluster of concentration class IX (weak concentration). With a distance of only 700 light years it is the closest globular cluster to the solar system.

It has a physical diameter of 75 light years and contains about 100 000 stars. A special study of over 600 white dwarf stars suggests an age of about 12.7 billion years. First observed by Swiss astronomer Jean-Philippe Loys de Chéseaux in 1746, Messier 4 was described by Charles Messier in 1764 as "a cluster of very small stars, which with smaller telescopes appears more like a nebula".

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More information about the Star Antares can be find here ...

A wide angle view of the Antares nebula regions we show here ...

NGC 6144 is a small globular cluster of concentration class X1. First observed was NGC 6144 on May 22, 1784 by William Herschel. John Dreyer, a Danish-Irish astronomer, described it
"as of considerable size, strongly concentrated, brightening towards the center, and readily resolvable into single stars."

Johan Ludvig Emil Dreyer created the NGC catalog, a list of more than 7000 star clusters, nebulae and galaxies and later as a supplement the IC catalog.

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