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Special Stars - ANTARES in the constellaion Scorpius

Description of object:

Antares (alpha Scorpii), the main star of the constellation Scorpio, is a "red supergiant" and is located about 600 light years away from the solar system. Antares is a physical double star. The companion - alpha Scorpii B - is a blue-white star and is currently 2.6" away from Antares. The orbit period is about 900 years, the distance between the two stars is about 550 AU.

Antares has a diameter of about 1 billion km (our sun about 1.4 million km). If Antares is put in place of our Sun, the orbit of the planet Mars would still be inside the star. The surface temperature is about 3.000 degrees Celsius, therefore the star shines in orange-red colour.
Antares is a star at the end of its life, it is already beginning to reject its outer layers of gas and form a planetary nebula. Antares belongs together with the stars Betelgeuse in Orion and Eta Carinae to the "hottest candidates" as the next supernova to explode in our galaxy.

Antares is the first fixed star where it was possible to image the surface of the star with VLTI in high resolution.

« Credit: ESO -

Our image shows to the right of Antares the globular cluster Messier 4. Between Antares and Messier 4 is the globular cluster NGC 6144. At the lower left edge of the image is the diffuse H-II region LBN 1103. At the top of the image are dark nebulae and the blue reflection nebulae IC 4604 and IC 4605

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