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Constellation In Focus: Scorpius
Constellation In Focus: Scorpius

For those of us in mid-northern latitudes, it?s probably best to start low; the underbelly of Scorpius skirts the horizon, making observation tricky.

The Scorpius Jewel Box is actually two open clusters in close proximity: the top one loose, and the lower one tight. A great binocular target.

NGC 6242 is an open cluster, and NGC 6281 is an open cluster with nebulosity.

C69 or "The Bug Nebula" (aka NGC 6302) is an interesting planetary which looks, at first glance, like a galaxy. The western side of the nebula has a prominent lobe with a tapered end while the eastern side is noticeably blunt.

NGC 6383 is a dim, wide cluster with nebulosity.

M6 is a bright and obvious open cluster which makes for an easy binocular target. Telescopes show rich detail and M6 is seen to be aptly named, "The Butterfly Cluster".

Three globular clusters sit close to Antares. M4 and M80 are well known, but a challenge is NGC 6144 because it sits so close to the 1st Mag red supergiant.

Antares itself is 600 lightyears away and glows with a luminosity 12,000 times greater than our own sun.

This area rewards binocular users generously. There are seemingly endless textures, patterns, star clusters and odd little clouds, all of which are well within the grasp of even basic optical aids.

July 2005

Date Taken: 05/04/2011
Author: Sean O'Dwyer
Category: Astronomy

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