Astronomy Picture of the Day



Planets, Bees, and a Donkey

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#89819 by @ 23.06.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
Planets, Bees, and a Donkey


Explanation:

The heralded alignment of wandering planets
Saturn and Mars with the
well-known
Beehive Cluster
took place last weekend on
Saturday, June 17.

Recorded in dark Arizona skies on that date,
this view finds
Mars above and right of Saturn - the brightest celestial
beacons in the scene - with the Beehive cluster of stars (M44)
at the lower right.

The two planets appear in
conjunction
separated by just over half a degree.

But about another half a degree along a line joining the
two and continuing towards the lower left lies the third
brightest object in the image, giant star Asellus Australis.

Asellus Australis is also known as
Delta Cancri,
a middling bright star 136 light-years away
in the constellation Cancer,
the Crab.

Of course, this star's Latin
name
translates to "Southern Donkey".




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