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


The heralded alignment of wandering planets
Saturn and Mars with the
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
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
translates to "Southern Donkey".

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