Heart of the Scorpion!

Antares is the brightest star in the constellation Scorpius, designated as Alpha Scorpii.

Name of this Red Supergiant is derived from Ancient Greek, meaning rival to Mars (Ares), due to its similar bright, reddish appearance.

Radius of Antares is ~473,000,000 km - so if you replace our Sun with Antares, the surface of Antares will be somewhere past Mars’s Orbit.

Located at a distance of 550ly from our solar system, the position of Antares in the Constellation Scorpius, as seen from Earth has earned its title “Heart of the Scorpion”.

Antares in Indian Astronomy

In Indian Astronomy, Antares ( α Scorpii) along with Paikauhale (τ Scorpii) and Alniyat (σ Scorpii) forms the 18th Nakshatram Kettai (in Tamizh) a.k.a Jyeshtha (in Sanskrit) & Thrikketta (in Malayalam).

How to find Antares?

From Chennai, Antares can be viewed from April ~ September (best time is June ~ July in my experience).

Look Southwards, you can find this Red Supergiant easily. It’s the 15th Brightest and one of the Dominant stars in the night sky. Should be easy to find.

To avoid confusing it with Mars, as soon as you find it, try to draw the imaginary scorpion using last image as reference.

Another Interesting Fact :

The shape of this Constellation looks familiar? You guys could have probably seen this in the film Moana. It’s the Fishhook of Demigod Maui (as per Hawaiian mythology), which she follows for Nightime Navigation.

This Image is actually a failed attempt to capture Rho Ophiuchi Cloud Complex.

However, I was able to spot 3 interesting subjects.
M4, M80 & NGC 6144 - all Globular Clusters of different size.

M4 : Radius - 35 ly, Distance from Earth - 7176.4 ly
M80 : Radius - 48 ly, Distance from Earth - 32,620 ly
NGC 6144 : Radius - 31.25 ly, Distance from Earth - 29,031.8 ly

Seeing them in a single frame gives an idea about the variation in apparent size of celestial bodies with respect to distance.

Chennai, Taken on 21 & 24.07.2020

Imaging Details :

15 Sec x 59, f/5.6, ISO 3200 @150mm + 28 Darks
15 Sec x 60, f/6.3, ISO 6,400 @ 150mm + 30 Darks
50 Flats + 50 Bias
Total Integration Time : 29min 45sec

Stacked in DSS, Edited in Lightroom Mobile

Canon 80D | Sigma Contemporary 150-600
Tracker : Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer

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