Another spectacular astronomical summer object is already visible from Gran Canaria, exactly from 10:30 PM looking at the South East. It’s Antares, a beautifully imaged star by our astrophotographer Juan María Díaz last weekend (left-bottom of the picture).
We believe the name comes from “Anti-Ares” or Mars’ rival, because of its fierce red colour. Actually, Antares is a red supergiant 550 light-years from us, in the constellation of Scorpius. It is so large that it would greatly surpass the orbit of Mars if positioned in the place of our Sun. Because of its huge size, we can even see resolve some details of its surface, when using special instruments.
In the right-bottom corner of the picture, M4 is clearly visible. M4 is the closest globular star cluster to us (“only” 7200 light-years away).
Finally, a fragment of Ophiuchus cloud complex, cradle of future stars, is lit by Antares itself by the centre of the image.